Would UCPN (Maoist)’s jamboree give a new lease to party or prove a fiasco?

KATHMANDU: The UCPN (Maoist) –the country’s largest political party and south Asia’s largest communist party is holding its seventh general convention on Saturday in Hetauda.

The seventh general convention is significant not only because it is taking place after a long gap of 21 years but also because it comes just eight months after a formal split in the party.

Nearly 3,000 participants, including representatives and observers have thronged Hetauda to take part in the convention while the national and international media persons have also gathered for the news coverage of the event.

Earlier, a meeting of the party’s top leaders on Friday endorsed the statute to be presented in the party’s general convention emphasizing more on collective leadership.

Analysts, oppositions, UCPN (Maoist)’s critics and sympathizers have been keenly watching the former rebel party’s jamboree and are looking forward to its decisions.

Political analyst Jhalak Subedi believes that the UCPN (Maoist)’s general convention would institutionalize the party’s journey to peace politics after coming through the people’s war.

Commenting on the ideological shift of the UCPN (Maoist), Subedi hailed Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s document for ending his regular statements of calling Nepal a semi-feudal and semi-colonial country.

“His (Dahal’s) document has not only done away with the communist jargons, it has also ended the earlier hangover of a traditional communist party.”

Chairman Prachanda has also dropped the party’s ideology of New People’s Democratic Revolution to dub it now as Nepali revolution.

Earlier, party Chairman Prachanda had said that the party’s general convention would give a momentum to the country’s ongoing political deadlock and Nepal’s communist revolution would proceed in a new fashion in its own originality.

Likewise, political analyst Shyam Shrestha believes that the Maoists’ jamboree would further unite the party, making party’s entire mechanisms more dynamic.

“But, less pre-convention debates on UCPN (Maoist)’s agendas and guidelines proved disappointing,” Shrestha bemoaned.

Asked about possibilities of ending the country’s current political stalemate, analyst Shrestha hoped the conclave of the ruling party would set a clear roadmap for the country’s politics.

Similarly, columnist Yug Pathak said that the UCPN (Maoist) would receive a new life after the Hetauda jamboree. “From the perspective of sharp political polarization, the UCPN (Maoist) has been widely criticized. So, the convention should encourage the party to further unite,” Pathak argues.

Pathak said, “Maoists’ mentality of building a prosperous nation by quitting the single agenda of struggle would give momentum to the party,”

Chairman Prachanda in his political document entitled “New Synthesis of Nepali Revolution: A Historical Necessity” has emphasized many issues including devoting the cadres in cooperatives and productions.

Meanwhile, oppositions and Maoists’ vocal critics have viewed the general convention as just a fiasco and that it would not bring anything new for the country and people. They have argued that the general convention would end just by gathering some 3,000 cadres in Hetauda and sending them back home.

Senior journalist Yubaraj Ghimire said the question is whether the ideology and policy adopted by the convention would be enforced in letter and spirit and whether the cadres of the party would be able to make the leaders more accountable.

“It (the convention) does not hold any connection with the current national politics”, he said.

But, UCPN (Maoist) leaders Jhakku Subedi, Narendra Jung Peter and Jhalak Pani Tiwari told RSS that they would come univocally after the party’s general convention and believed that the convention would cement unity in the party and give a breakthrough to the present deadlock.

“It would up the thoughts of leaders and cadres,” Peter said.

They even shared that the general convention would revitalize the party and make cadres able to tackle with the new challenges.

Maoist leader Subedi said, “We will end up by bringing concrete agendas to uplift people’s living standards not merely the heaps of political jargons.”

Asked about future leadership of the UCPN (Maoist), analyst Subedi quipped, “It would reconfirm Prachanda’s seniority.”

Despite no change in party’s leadership, it easier to speculate that the UCPN (Maoist) would come up with a new vigor to challenge their political rivals, both in terms of ideology and organizations, to continue the party’s political clout for future, at least for a decade.