Kathmandu, May 4, 2022: A meeting of the dissenting faction of the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) has removed its general secretary Netra Bikram Chand from his post, expelling him from the party as well. The group has named Dharmendra Bastola the new general secretary of the party.
A national meeting called by the group led by dissenting leaders Hemanta Prakash Oli alias Sudarshan and Dharmendra Bastola alias Kanchan which commenced on Wednesday in Chitwan district also decided to strip Khadga Bahadur Bishwakarma of the post of party spokesperson. The dissenting leaders are also preparing to form a new party from the gathering.
Central Committee member Guna Raj Lohani, one of the leaders of the faction, said that Chand was removed from the post for taking part in the local level elections against the decision of the party central committee, and for forming an electoral alliance with the CPN-UML and the Nepali Congress who supported the $500 million US grant assistance under the Millennium Challenge Corporation, among other issues.
“Chand has been removed from the post as he fielded central committee members as candidates for the local elections and formed an electoral alliance with MCC supporters,” said Lohani.
Earlier, on April 27, the party had expelled secretariat members Oli and Bastola, relieving them of party responsibilities indefinitely for acting against the party structure and leadership.
There were serious differences within the party on whether or not to participate in the local elections. The party’s establishment faction led by Chand stood in favor of participating in the elections while Oli and Bastola were against it.
The party amid differences decided to participate in the local polls. As the party hasn’t registered with the Election Commission, it has fielded its candidates as independents.
The party is contesting for leadership in 35 local levels while it has fielded ward chairpersons and members in additional 100 local levels. Oli and Bastola had been publicly criticizing the move to participate in the polls.
The Chand-led party decided to join mainstream politics in March 2020 after signing an agreement with the government. Chand had formed the Communist Party of Nepal after splitting from the Maoist party led by Mohan Baidya which was formed after splitting from the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre). Until Chand signed the three-point agreement with the then Oli government, he was for launching what he called a “unified revolution.”