KATHMANDU, Nepal – Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who was one of the most powerful figure in the country’s politics under his alias name Prachanda, is under pressure from the senior party leaders to resign from the post of party chairman. Prachanda became an iconic figure after leading a Maoist insurgency from 1996 that help topple the monarchy to transfer the Kingdom into republic. The political charm of ‘once leader with dictator like image’ has been degraded after a poor showing in the Constituent Assembly elections.
In its humiliating loss, the party that emerged as first party in the first CA held in 2008, has downed to third position with only 26 seats own out of 240 in the First-Past-The-Post electoral system in the election for second CA in 19 November 2013.
Holding him responsible for the results, several party leaders, including his deputies Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and Narayan Kaji Shrestha have sought his exit as chairman of the Unified Communist Party Nepal-Maoist. The party leaders have been asking the Maoist supremo to hand over the baton to a new generation.
The call for his resignation ignited a heated debate at the ongoing central committee meeting of the party, two months after the Constituent Assembly Elections results relegated the Maoists to the third spot.
Prachanda has admitted that he made several mistakes in the past and could not deliver on the promises made to the people. He has offered several apologies in the political document tabled at the party meet.
But Bhattarai, who has been Prachanda’s deputy, criticized him for becoming a Stalin by centralizing all power and organizational resources in his hands.
In Communist parlance, Stalinism is identified with personality cult and autocratic functioning.
Bhattarai said the leadership, mainly Dahal, should improve its working style so as to rebuild the Maoist party.