Nepal Maoists keen to learn statecraft from West Bengal

May 2nd, 2008 - 7:35 pm ICT by admin  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, May 2 (IANS) Poised to take up the reins of the new government this month, Nepal’s former Maoist guerrillas are keen to learn the basics of statecraft from India’s communist party that has been ruling the eastern state of West Bengal uninterruptedly for three decades. “Everybody learns from each other,” Sitaram Yechury, an influential member of the politburo, the decision-making body of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), said in Kathmandu Friday.

“The Maoist leaders want to know how the CPI-M government of West Bengal has been running for 30 years. They want to learn from that experience.”

Yechury, regarded as one of the architects of the secret negotiations between the once outlawed Maoists and Nepal’s opposition parties that led to the ouster of King Gyanendra’s army-backed government in 2006, was in Nepal on a two-day visit to urge the parties to form a consensus government without delay.

“The new government should be formed as early as possible,” Yechury told IANS before his departure from Kathmandu.

He also said that with the historic April 10 election having given a clear verdict for the Maoists, who emerged as the largest party with 220 out of the 575 contested seats, they should lead the new government.

The Indian leader tried to allay fears that the Indian Maoists, who are still waging an armed war in India’s east and southern states, would be emboldened by the Maoist victory to launch greater violence.

“The (Nepal) Maoists have clearly said they have no organisational links with the Indian Maoists. Indian Maoists have to learn from Nepal’s Maoists, renounce the politics of the gun and violence and join the mainstream,” Yechury said.

Rahul Barua, secretary-general of the New Delhi-based South Asia Foundation, said they have forwarded a letter from West Bengal’s ruling Left Front chairman Biman Bose to Maoist supremo Prachanda, inviting him to visit the state.

The invitation has been seconded by West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya.

Yechury, who held talks with Prachanda and Nepal’s Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, indicated that the UN’s role in Nepal’s peace negotiations would end in July.

The UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), which has been mandated to supervise the arms and combatants of the Maoists to ensure a free and fair election, would be asked to leave after its term ends July 23, he said. The CPI-M leader, however, added that the UN would still have a major role to play in Nepal, especially in assisting in economic development.

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