Some Points in the Historical Development of Nepalese Communist Movement

Jhala Nath Khanal
Respected Leader and Chief of the International Department

  • The Nepal Communist Party (NCP), was established in 1949, under the leadership of comrade Pushpalal in Calcutta with an objective of opposing feudalism, comprador-bureaucratic capitalism, and imperialism, by completing the new democratic revolution, the establishment of a democratic people’s republic, and creating a condition to move towards socialism.
  • The 1st party Congress was held in 1954 in Kathmandu, and comrade Man Mohan Adhikari was elected as the General Secretary of the Central Committee. He led the party by expanding the rank and file of the party and developing communist and democratic movements in Nepal.
  • The 2nd party Congress was held in 1958 in Kathmandu and adopted a comparatively correct ideological and political line. But the rightist leader, Dr. Keshar Jung Rayamaji, was elected as the General Secretary of the Central Committee of the party. He led the party towards right opportunism and the pro-monarchy direction. He supported the military coup of the then King Mahendra in 1962 and began to destroy the communist party of Nepal.
  • So, there occurred a revolt against the rightist leadership. The revolutionary leaders and cadres of the party organized a plenum, popularly known as the Darvanga Plenum, and they decided to hold the 3rd National Party Congress. It was held in 1962 in India, and comrade Tulsi Lal Amatya was elected General Secretary of the Central Committee of the party. But the third party congress also could not develop a correct ideological and political line, policy, and principle of the Nepalese democratic revolution. That is why the Nepalese Communist Party was divided into many groups in the decade of the 1960s.
  • Among them, Comrade Pushpal tried to reorganize the party line, held a national conference in 1968, and was elected as a leader of the new Central Committee. That party was expanded to different districts also. But it also could not lead the communist movement towards unification and consolidation. Later on, it was also divided into many groups.
  • After some time, we reorganized a new national center of the Nepalese communist movement as the All Nepal Communist Revolutionary Co-ordination Committee (Marxist-Leninist) in 1975. However, it made some ultra-left mistakes despite the new center, formulating a revolutionary line for the Nepalese democratic revolution. It created new confidence and inspiration among the Nepalese communist revolutionaries. Consequently, the Nepalese communist movement began to reorganize and reunify under the revolutionary ideological and political line of the Co-ordination Committee.
  • By unifying different communist organizations and groups, we reestablished the Communist Party of Nepal (Marxist-Leninist) under the leadership of comrade C.P. Mainali in 1978. It was a historical event for the advancement, development, unity, and unification of the communist movement in Nepal. But after some years of the re-establishment of the party, the then General Secretary, Comrade C.P. Mainali, could not lead the party, according to the aspirations of the people and the party. So he resigned from the post of General Secretary.
  • Then the Central Committee of the CPN (ML) elected comrade Jhala Nath Khanal as the new General Secretary of the party in 1982. There was a serious debate on major theoretical and political questions concerning the new democratic revolution of Nepal at that time. But all the theoretical and ideological questions and debates were solved scientifically and logically. With the guidance of the great scientific theory of Marxism-Leninism, the party formulated the correct line, policies, principles, and programs for the Nepalese new democratic revolution ahead.
  • At that time CPN (ML) was already expanded to 74 districts out of 75 in Nepal. A nationwide party was built in an underground way. There were dozens of mass organizations built around our party. Hundreds of thousands of people were organized under the great banner of our party. The Congress decided to form a broader left and democratic front against the absolute monarchy and the then autocratic Panchayat system. Then immediately after the fourth Congress, we built a united political front of all left and democratic forces working in the country and launched a nationwide people’s movement all over the country.
  • Finally, the then King Birendra was compelled to negotiate with the political parties and declared the dissolution of the then Panchayat system and established a multi-party democratic system in Nepal in 1990. Then Nepal peacefully entered into the period of multi-party democracy.
  • In the period of the people’s movement, we had organized a united left front of five left parties. Among them CPN (ML) led by comrade Madan Bhandari and CPN (Marxist) led by comrade Man Mohan Adhikari were Unified and CPN (UML) was formed in 1991. This was another important historical unification of the communist movement in Nepal. Then our movement became a powerful nationwide movement since that time in Nepal. After the success of the people’s movement, we formed an interim government of all parties in the country in 1991. That government formed a new constitution recommendation commission. It drafted a new constitution that was promulgated in 1991.
  • According to that constitution, the 1st general election was held in 1991. In that election, if left parties had united to collectively fight the election, there would have been a left majority government. Due to the other left parties, it was not possible. So our party alone fought the election in a nationwide way. We were victorious in 69 seats out of 205 in the lower house of the parliament. Other left parties won 13 seats. The then party CPN (UML) became the main opposition party in parliament.
  • Our party CPN (UML) at that time played a very important role in the parliament. We raised the voice of the people on nationalism, democracy, people’s livelihood, utilization of natural resources, and proper utilization of the huge water resources of the country.
  • At the same time, we resolutely opposed the unequal treaty of Tanakpur done by the Nepali Congress government led by Girija Prasad Koirala in 1992.
  • Our 5th National Congress was held in 1992 under the leadership of comrades Man Mohan Adhikari and Madan Bhandari, who were elected Chairman and General Secretary of the Central Committee of the party. In that national Congress comrade, Madan Bhandari put forward the people’s multiparty democracy instead of the new democracy as a new program of the party.
  • After the 5th national Congress, comrade Madan Bhandari was on a nationwide tour explaining the conclusions of the Congress to the cadres and people. During that campaigning, he was brutally assassinated in a highly conspiratorial manner in Das Dhunga at the bank of the Narayani River in 1993.
  • After the assassination of comrade Madan Bhandari, the Central Committee of the party elected comrade Madhav Kumar Nepal as the new General Secretary of the party immediately after the assassination of comrade Madan Bhandari.
  • In 1994, the 2nd general election was held in Nepal. In that election, our party CPN (UML) emerged as the largest political party winning 86 seats out of 205 in the parliament and in the country too. But we also had no majority in the house.
  • Then, according to the provision of the then constitution, our party’s chairman comrade Man Mohan Adhikari became Prime Minister, and under his leadership, we formed the communist party lead government in Nepal. Although it was a minority government, it was the first Communist Party government in Nepal. It gave a historically popular government to the people of Nepal. During the period of that government, the popularity of the party and the government was growing rapidly among the people.
  • That is why it was not tolerated by the main opposition party Nepali Congress. So it made a coalition with other parties in the parliament and toppled the popular government of CPN (UML) by the opposition party Nepali Congress, according to the verdict of the Supreme Court which almost amended the constitution at that time.
  • After the verdict of the Supreme Court and the toppling down of the minority government, Nepal entered into a period of instability and uncertainty.
  • Since that very time, CPN (Maoist) party, another communist party, was formed in 1994. This began to wage an armed struggle against the monarchy and the then multiparty democracy.
  • The Maoist party expanded its armed struggle in many parts of the country, particularly in the rural areas. They not only attacked police posts in one or another place, but they also attacked military camps in different places. In this way, they organized their armed forces. But it was not possible to get victory through armed struggle in Nepal.
  • In this way, from 1996 to 200, there emerged two main streams in the communist movement of Nepal. One stream was represented by CPN (UML). It was the stream of the people’s movement and mass insurrection. The second stream was represented by CPN (Maoist). It was the stream of armed struggle. Both were strong streams in the communist movement of Nepal from 1996 to 2006
  • On January 25-31, 1998 CPN (UML) organized its 6th national Congress in Nepalgunj, under the leadership of comrade Man Mohan Adhikari and comrade Madhav Kumar Nepal. That Congress elected Comrade Man Mohan Adhikari and comrade Madhav Kumar Nepal party chairman and General Secretary respectively.
  • On April 26, 1999, CPN (UML) Chairman Man Mohan Adhikari suddenly became faint in Kathmandu and was admitted to the hospital. While the general election campaign was going on all over the country, he passed away unfortunately on April 26, 1999. It was a great loss for the party, the communist, and the democratic movement of Nepal.
  • On Feb 1-6, 2003 CPN (UML) held its 7th national congress in Janakpur. That Congress also elected comrade Madhav Kumar Nepal as the General Secretary of the Central Committee. At that time, King Gyanendra had already begun to bring the country toward regression.
  • But when the then King Gyanendra dissolved the elected government and formed an autocratic government under the leadership of the King himself and jailed most of the leaders from different parties on Feb 1, 2005, then the situation of the country changed drastically. All the political parties, mass organizations, civil society, human rights organizations, media, and, the broad masses of the people became against the absolute monarchy.
  • In this crucial situation in the country, while all other political leaders were arrested and were in jail, leaders only the standing committee member and one of the leaders of CPN (UML), Jhala Nath Khanal remained outside and he immediately became underground and began to lead the people’s movement against the absolute monarchy and his autocratic rule. In a short period, the people’s resistance movement developed vigorously all over the country.
  • Analyzing the concrete situation of the country CPN (UML) initiated to form another historical united political front of seven major political parties against the autocratic rule of the monarchy in 2005. Under the left and democratic united political front, a nationwide militant people’s movement was expanded in various parts of the country in 2005.
  • In this context, CPN (Maoist) also realized that armed struggle could not be victorious in Nepal. To topple down the autocratic monarchy from the soil of Nepal all parties must come together and launch a nationwide people’s revolt.
  • After this realization, the representatives of the seven political party alliance and the CPN (Maoist) set together and agreed on a 12-point objective for the development of a militant people’s movement against the absolute monarchy in 2005.
  • After that agreement, a very militant people’s movement began to develop in almost every part of the country in urban and rural areas. In the beginning, it was a mass movement. But within a short period, it developed into a nationwide revolt by the people. In many municipalities and districts, people began to declare a republic of districts or municipalities. It expanded into many parts of the country.
  • Finally, the autocratic government of King Gyanendra was compelled to reinstate the dissolved house of parliament and an interim government of all political parties was formed under the Prime Ministership of Girija Prasad Koirala in 2006.
  • That government drafted an interim constitution and made a historic comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) between the government and the CPN (Maoist) in 2005. After CPA, decade long armed struggle was successfully and peacefully ended.
  • Then that interim government declared the election of the constituent assembly in 2007 to build a new constitution. The first constituent assembly was elected very successfully. In that election CPN (Maoist) became the largest party, Nepali Congress became the second largest and CPN (UML) became the third largest only. CPN (UML) was defeated in many parts of the country.
  • In that context, the then general secretary of the CPN (UML) comrade Madhav Kumar Nepal resigned from his post and the Central Committee of the CPN (UML) elected comrade Jhala Nath Khanal as a new General Secretary in 2007.
  • The 1st session of the constituent assembly made a historical decision of declaring Nepal as a federal democratic republic. The monarchy was abolished by peaceful means. It was a historical achievement in the democratic movement of Nepal. In this way, the Nepalese democratic revolution (bourgeois-democratic revolution) was completed.
  • Then in 2007, the CPN (UML) organized its 8th national party Congress under the leadership of comrade Jhala Nath Khanal and institutionally declared the bourgeois-democratic revolution which was started in 1950 under the leadership of comrade Pushpalal. In this way, the democratic revolution in Nepal was concluded after a long struggle of 58 years. National Congress also decided that in the new historical context a new socialist-oriented constitution should be built through collective effort. The Congress elected comrade Jhala Nath Khanalas Chairman of the party.
  • The 1st constitution assembly made many important contributions to making a new constitution. But it could not complete the constitution-making process. So in 2012, the 2nd constitution assembly election was held. In that election, Nepali Congress became the largest party, the CPN (UML) became the second-largest party and the Maoist party became only the third-largest, Then we rapidly moved forward to complete the drafting of the new constitution.
  • In 2013, CPN (UML) held its 9th national Congress in Kathmandu under the leadership of comrade Jhala Nath Khanal. The Congress adopted the revolutionary line, policy, and principle for the preparation of the basis for socialism in Nepal. But the Congres elected a rightist opportunist leader K.P. Oli as the chairman of the party. That Congress declared that feudalism and feudal autocracy has been abolished from Nepal. The bourgeois-democratic revolution has been completed. Nepalese society has been transformed into the primary stage of capitalist society. So Nepalese revolution has developed into the second stage. It is a new historical stage of the socialist revolution and transformation.
  • After the 9th national Congress of our party on September 20, 2015, the constituent assembly promulgated the constitution of Nepal. It has been a historic constitution that declared Nepal a socialist-oriented state. So the new constitution has very clearly guided the people and political parties of Nepal to move towards the future of socialism.
  • In this new context, according to the new constitution, the general election was held in 2017. In that election, CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist) parties came together to fight jointly with a common election manifesto. It created a big enthusiasm among the people. So the two left parties got an almost two-thirds majority in the federal parliament, the majority of the 6 (out of 7) provincial assembly, and more than 60% seats in the local assembly. It was a great historical victory and achievement for the communist movement in Nepal.
  • Accordingly, we formed a new Communist party government under the leadership of the then Chairman of the party K.P. Oli. It was the historic first majority communist government in Nepal. It had a great historical responsibility to bring the country toward comprehensive reform in socio-economic structure and gradually move toward socialist transformation.
  • At the same time, we unified CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist) to form a Nepal Communist Party with two Chairmen K.P. Oli and Prachanda.
  • But unfortunately, when K.P. Oli became Prime Minister, he forgot the party, he forgot the line, policies, and principles of the party, he forgot the legal process and system of the party, he forgot the election manifesto of the party, established in 1949 under the leadership of Comrade Pushrty, and he forgot the committee system of the party.
  • He formed a cabinet of his factional persons without the consultation and recommendation of the party.
  • He formed a new planning commission of his persons without the consultation, advice, and recommendation of the party.
  • He put forward the policies and programs of the government in the parliament. It was detrimental to the policies and program of the party. He put forward liberal bourgeois policies and programs that suited the comprador bourgeois. We were surprised at him and his changed activities.
  • After some time the government put forward a new budget in the parliament. There was a great opportunity to put forward a progressive budget for the massive reform in the socio-economic structure of the country. But the government of K.P. Oli did not consult with the party and lead the committee. He completely denied the policies and programs of the party. He put forward a biased and unbalanced budget that was only suited to the comprador bourgeois. It was not in the interest of the general people.
  • The K.P. Oli-led, the govern government brought many laws to the parliament. But those laws were also constituted without any consultation of the party. Party leaders knew about those laws only after their introduction in the parliament. Some laws created a revolt among the people also.
  • K.P. Oli’s government appointed hundreds of people in the different posts of the government organization. But the party did not know about them. They were not recommended by the party. They were mostly the personal followers of K.P. Oli.
  • In this way, he always acted as a factional leader, not like a party leader. He promoted factionalism all over the party.
  • He did not obey the agreement made during the process of unification of the two parties. He betrayed the objective and goal of unification.
  • We had made two equal Chairmen at the time of unification. But later on, K.P. Oli declared himself the first Chairman of the party.
  • The unification of the party could not go ahead. Many ideological, methodological, and, organizational problems were created in the process of unification. However, Mr. Oli did not try to solve those problems, according to the party line.
  • Then party Chairman stopped to organize the regular meeting of the leading organ of the party. If the meeting could be held, he did not implement the decision of the party committee. He began to work in his way.
  • He was moving systematically toward right opportunism, factionalism, egoism, individualism, and, national liquidationism.
  • He developed a deep relationship with outside forces and tried to implement the most debatable MCC agreement between U.S. and Nepal. The party did not agree with him.
  • He centralized the whole administration in his hand and imposed a type of autocratic government on the people.
  • Then one fine morning he suddenly dissolved the parliament, which has the two-thirds majority of the Communist Party. He tried to destroy the historic achievement of the communist movement in Nepal. We had immense possibilities to produce the most progressive policies and programs from the parliament, we could pass many progressive laws from the parliament, we could do lots of reform in the socio-economic structure of the country that parliament could pass a lot of people-oriented policies and programs, even the constitution could also be amended if necessary. Though it was a historical achievement of the people of Nepal, K.P. Oli appeared to be obstructed to implement our policies, programs, and principles.
  • But K.P. Oli could not lead the party, he could not lead the parliament in the right direction, he could not solve the internal problem of the party, according to the party rule, and he dissolved the house of representative in a very unconstitutional manner on December 20, 2020, and he declared a new election in the country while the whole people were suffering from the dangerous pandemic COVID-19. It was a regressive move of Prime Minister K.P. Oli, who had no right to dissolve the parliament according to the constitution made by the constituent assembly. He did all these acts without any consultation of the party and violated the constitution of the country as well as the party rule.
  • So there was a nationwide resistance or a militant people’s movement against the regressive move of Prime Minister K.P. Oli. While the people’s movement was going on, on 23rd February 2021 the Supreme Court of Nepal gave a verdict that the dissolution of the parliament by Prime Minister K.P. Oli was unconstitutional and the parliament should be restored. It was the historical decision of the court in favor of the constitution and democracy.
  • But the government of K.P. Sharma Oli did not accept the verdict of the Supreme Court; he did not give any business to the parliament making the restored parliament useless.
  • Then again, he dissolved the parliament and declared a new election in the country at the time of the continued severe effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. At that time also many people were dying every day.
  • Again, we had to fight against Mr. Oli’s unconstitutional and autocratic rule via the Supreme Court and the street.
  • In such a situation, CPN (UML)’s development in all respects was obstructed by the rightist deviation of the party leadership. Our party’s correct line, policies, and principles were almost destroyed.
  • So, we organized a national cadres Conference in Kathmandu on 17th March 2021. That Conference decided to reorganize the party based on the revolutionary line, policies, and programs of the party.
  • But Mr. Oli began to purge the party and he began to expel the party leaders and prominent members of the parliament.
  • At the same time, the unified party CPN was compelled to be divided again by the instigated verdict of the Supreme Court.
  • By the ordinance of the court, the unified party was divided again. It was a surprising decision of the Supreme Court.
  • After the ordinance, K.P. Oli called a factional meeting of the party Central Committee. More than 50% of CCMs were not informed about the meeting. In that way, he captured the party leadership and made CPN (UML) a clique of Oli.
  • Then we tried our best to keep the unity of the party. For that purpose, we formed a task force for the talk between the two groups of parties. However, no honorable solution could be found.
  • That is why we were compelled to revolt against the rightist opportunist, factionalist, egoist, liquidationist, and capitalist clique led by Mr. Oli on 18th August 2021 and we formed a new revolutionary party i.e. The Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Socialist).
  • Since that time only a few months have passed. But our party CPN (Unified Socialist) has been expanded all over the country. The central committee, central organizations, and central departments have been formed. All seven provincial committees have been formed. 77 district committees have been formed and municipal committees and ward committees are expanding all over the country. The party membership drive is going on in urban and rural areas of the country.
  • Around the party, more than 21 mass organizations have been already structured on a nationwide basis. They are mobilizing and organizing hundreds of thousands of people under their organization.
  • Our party CPN (Unified Socialist) is participating in the federal government. Now in the country, we have a five-party coalition government formed based on a common program. Our party has participated in the provincial governments also. We have two Chief Ministers in Bagmati Province and Province 1.
  • The Oli clique of CPN (UML) has been isolated from the mainstream of national politics in Nepal.
  • The revolt is going on in a nationwide way against the rightist leadership of UML and every district, large numbers of cadres and people are coming to the rank and file of our party CPN (Unified Socialist).
  • We hope our party will become the mainstream of the communist movement in Nepal within a short span.
  • Local election in the country has been held. Despite several challenges, we have been able to secure the position in some important metropolises, municipalities, rural municipalities, and numerous wards around the country.  
  • The historic first meeting of the Central Council was successfully held on July 27-28, 2022. Around 1500 representatives from all leading committees, district committees, and mass organizations enthusiastically participated in the meeting and discussed the present national and international situations, the party’s present tasks, party building, party consolidation, preparation for the next general election, etc.
  • The road ahead is a tortuous one, there are many challenges, and however, the victory of the people and socialism is inevitable.

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