Key leader of outlawed Chand outfit joins ruling NCP

Published On: June 3, 2019 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 3: A key leader of the outlawed Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) quit the party and joined the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) amidst a special function held at the NCP headquarters in Dhumbarahi on Sunday.

Former minister of state for transport and physical infrastructure Padam Rai, who had been accused of carrying out bomb blasts targeting Province 1 Chief Minister Sher Dhan Rai, was welcomed to the ruling party by senior party leaders including NCP Chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal, Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa and NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel.

Rai, a politburo member of the outlawed outfit, claimed that he decided to quit the outfit after it resorted to terrorist activities in recent days. “The recent bombings and other terrorist activities showed that the party was inflicting pain on the public,” he said at the function.

Rai said that he tried his best to bring the outfit to an agreement with the government, but could not succeed as the outfit rejected his idea.

Welcoming the erstwhile deputy chief of the 'people's government' formed by the outfit, NCP Chairman Dahal said the Chand faction will have to join mainstream politics and the NCP for the welfare of the people. “The party would like to welcome all communist leaders to the party,” he said.

Speaking at the function, Rai said he joined Chand's outfit with the hope of bringing about an "integrated people's revolution" but was forced to quit after the outfit started carrying out violent attacks in recent days.

Rai was associated with the then rebel Maoists during the ten-year-long conflict. During the conflict, he was a powerful leader operating in Bhojpur.

Before joining the Chand-led outfit, he was associated with the Mohan Baidya-led Maoist outfit.

In the last provincial elections, Rai was arrested on the charge of detonating a bomb targeting the then CPN-UML leader Sher Dhan Rai in eastern Nepal. However, he was soon released after a court order.

Rai is among several members of the Chand outfit who quit the outfit renouncing violence. Prior to this, three members of the outfit including the so-called Rautahat district in-charge had decided to quit the outfit and surrendered to the police last Wednesday.

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