The battle raging between Lalrakchyak monthly (which supports Maoist supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal) and the Samayabadha bimonthly (which supports Mohan Baidya) clearly points to mounting internal tension within the party. Though the comments seem to pit Dahal and Baidya against each other, there is another common target here: Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai. Factionist politics in the UCPN (Maoist) has led leaders to brand each other extremist, opportunist and rightist, while the country is held hostage to their infighting.
Leaders are still divided over whether to support the constituent assembly or to go for a revolution to establish a people's republic. Bhattarai wants to pursue the first path as was decided in the 12-point understanding and so is criticised by the hardliners in the party for being rightist. Baidya sees the current change as meaningless and wants to revert to the extreme leftism of the past. In between them is Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who swings between both lines, using the conflict between the two factions to his strategic advantage. A Central Committee member close to the Baidya group says that even though Dahal favours Baidya during decision making, he supports the 'rightists' while implementing policy.
Both Baidya and Bhattarai are equally frustrated by the opportunism of Dahal. They are planning to bring out written proposals based on their respective lines at the party meeting scheduled for 19 August. They have reached the conclusion that a party convention is inevitable. A politburo member close to Bhattarai says," One person reigning for 20 years in the name of communist centralisation has led to wrong practices in the party."
Dahal has come under fire in his own party for using cheap tactics like buying MPs and accepting the idea of a cultural king in order to become prime minister. Vice Chairman Baidya writes in a party publication, "We are basically revolutionary and on the right track but are facing serious philosophical problems. Our principles say one thing but our practices are quite the opposite. Our ideals do not match our actions."