The country has witnessed a flurry of political activities, with parties setting their goals and agendas. Major political forces have convened their national congresses one after another. Their conventions are not just fulfilling the legal obligation as set by the Election Commission but they also form the integral component of their organisational life. The gatherings of delegates enable them to inject new blood and fresh ideas into the parties. Since the parties are vehicle of political changes and social-economic transformations, their conventions bear importance in the national politics. Their ideologies and policies impact the political and economic course of nation. Moreover, the national congresses are a moment for the party functionaries to exercise their rights to enhance intra-party democracy and shape the party. The country’s democratisation process gathers steam if the parties fully embrace internal democracy. Therefore, conventions offer an opportunity to the cadres to democratise their parties, hone leadership skills and broaden ideological horizon.
Against this backdrop, ruling Nepali Congress, main opposition CPN-UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party have already concluded their national congresses, picking their central and provincial leaderships. Similarly, CPN-Maoist Centre has started holding its 8th general convention in the capital since Sunday, coinciding with the 129th birth anniversary of Mao. Initially, the party had planned to hold its first national conference but later it decided to convert it into the convention. The Maoist Centre has claimed that it reached a conclusion to organise the convention as it gained huge traction with the party followers and common people. It will elect a 299-member central committee that will have 35 per cent representation of women, 20 per cent of youth, 15 per cent of Dalits and five per cent of Muslims. Party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda is expected to get re-elected as the new chair from the convention as there is no one who can challenge him in the top post.
The Maoist Centre has undergone a sea change in terms of organisational strength and ideology since it launched the ‘people’s war’ in 1996 and joined peaceful politics in 2006. The party got engaged in armed campaign six years after the country ushered in multiparty democracy in 1990. Later, it adopted the ‘21st century democracy’ to participate in competitive civilian politics. When it was united with UML to create NCP, it followed ‘people’s democracy.’ It suffered splits multiple times. Now it is in search of new ideology that suits the emerging political dynamisms. According to the news report published in this daily, the party will formulate revolutionary ideology and build revolutionary party from the national gathering.
Dubbed as ‘historic convention,’ it is going to adopt ‘socialism’ as its political tactics. It is supposed to brainstorm the kind of socialism that is appropriate to the Nepali society. Of late, the term ‘socialism’ has gained ground, with most of the parties claiming to establish socialism in the country. The greater emphasis on building a socialist state is in line with the constitution that is ‘committed to socialism based on democratic norms and values’. As the statute has envisioned building a socialism-oriented economy, the political parties should devise a suitable socio-economic policy for the purpose. Mismatch between the constitution and policy has given rise to various discrepancies. The Maoist Centre should come up with clear theoretical proposition to materialise its tactical line through the convention, thereby helping the nation achieve much-needed stability and prosperity.