KATHMANDU, Nov 11: With the government adopting stringent security measures, including the arrest of party cadres on the spot, the agitating Mohan Baidya-led anti-election grouping of various fringe parties has started adopting ‘terror tactics’ to apparently enforce their strike and foil the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) poll.
Already under pressure with more than 24 of the total 33 political parties parting ways with the grouping, the Baidya-led alliance planted bombs, most of them hoaxes, and vandalized a number of vehicles Sunday night to enforce their scheduled general strike on Monday. Nevertheless, there was not even a single cadre or activist of the agitating alliance to be seen in the streets, unlike in all the strikes in the past of the mainstream political parties.
Agitating party leaders admitted that they were forced to adopt guerilla-style techniques as the government started arresting their cadres and activists on the spot. “We are compelled to move ahead in guerilla style. It is not a terror tactic as such,” said Mani Thapa, chairman of Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), a constituent party of the Baidya-led alliance.
Thapa said they are not in a position to hold rallies, distribute pamphlets or engage in any anti-election activity in public, with the government arresting all their cadres and leaders in the streets. “We may need to change our tactics and go for an underground style [to show our presence]. We may even need to target road vehicles [to enforce our strike],” he further said.
The Baidya-group vandalized or torched vehicles that were parked or planted bombs, most of them hoaxes, only during the night on Sunday and early Monday morning, apparently to evade arrest. But there were no such incidents of vandalism and arson during the day. “The Baidya group appears to have adopted terror tactics. This on one hand keeps the security personnel preoccupied and creates terror among the general public on the other, to serve their interests,” said a senior security official asking not to be named.
The Baidya group, according to police, had left suspicious looking objects in more a dozen different locations across the country to create terror and to enforce their general strike on Monday. Leaders of political parties that were previously part of the Baidya-led 33-party alliance said the alliance could have adopted ‘terror tactics’ as there was not even a single party in the alliance except the Baidya-led CPN-Maoist itself that has a relatively good organizational base across the country.
Chairman of Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) Rishi Kattel, who had taken the initiative to form the alliance of 33-parties, said there are not even half a dozen parties with the Baidya-led alliance now. “I think only the party-led by Baidya can bring out more than 100 cadres into the streets. Other parties in the alliance hardly have an organizational presence in a few districts,” said Kattel, who is now in the election fray.
Of the total 33 political parties, the Baidya-led alliance now has the backing of only five fringe parties, including Socialist Democratic Party (Kumar Rai faction), Mani Thapa-led RCP, Pari Thapa-led CPN (Ekikrit), Federal Limbuwan State Council (FLSC) and the Shankar Thapa-led Multi Ethnic Inclusive Party. While the FLSC has some organizational presence in nearly half a dozen eastern hill districts, the Thapa-led CPN (Ekikrit) has a thin presence in Baglung and Rupandehi. The others do not have any organizational presence at all, according to party insiders.
Chairman of Samabesi Party Moti Lal Bharati said 24 of the parties in the alliance including his own decided to severe ties with the alliance and take part in the election. “I have been campaigning for elections with parrot as our election symbol. I am currently in Jhapa to solicit votes for my party,” he told Republica over the phone from Birtamod, Jhapa, Monday evening.