Maoist Centre Launches Mission-84 Campaign, Aims to Reconnect with Voters for Upcoming Elections

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CPN (Maoist Centre) Kicks Off Ambitious Three-Month Campaign to Rebuild Party's Grassroots Relations

Kathmandu: In a strategic move to bolster its connection with the electorate and reinvigorate its electoral prospects, the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) has unveiled the Mission-84 campaign. This ambitious initiative is aimed at paving the way for success in the upcoming parliamentary and provincial elections, scheduled to take place in four years, in the year 2084 BS.

Under the banner of "Janata Sanga Maobadi" or "Maoists with the Public," the ruling party is poised to launch this special campaign, with an official announcement scheduled for 1 pm this Saturday, to be delivered by party chair and Prime Minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal. The launch venue is set to be Bhattedanda of Chandragiri Municipality.

During a press conference held at the party's central office in Kathmandu on Friday, party vice-chair Agni Prasad Sapkota outlined the campaign's structure. He emphasized that the campaign would unfold in three distinct phases, with internal training sessions as the initial phase, followed by interactive events, and culminating in large-scale public gatherings.

The decision to undertake this three-month campaign was the result of deliberations within the ruling party's central committee. Party leaders believe this initiative will help bridge the gap that has emerged between the party and the general public, especially among the working class and rural communities.

The Maoist Centre plans to launch the campaign across all of Nepal's 6,743 wards, with a target of personally meeting 2.5 million voters. The aim is to inform citizens about the government's achievements and its commitment to ensuring good governance, prosperity, and social justice.

Party Standing Committee member Hitraj Pandey revealed that the campaign's duration would span three months. He acknowledged that, over time, the party had drifted away from its grassroots base, especially the farming community, after transitioning into mainstream politics following the peace process. "We realized the need to strengthen our party organization at the grassroots level," Pandey stated.

In pursuit of its objectives, the party leaders aim to increase membership to 800,000 by attracting new members and renewing the participation of dormant ones. The campaign will be led by central office bearers at the provincial level, with standing committee members and central members assuming leadership roles in districts, and provincial members taking charge at the local level.

However, some reports indicate that the Maoist Centre's organizational structure is currently in disarray. Recent election results reflect a noticeable decline in the party's voter base, with their proportional representation votes decreasing from 15.3 percent in 2017 to 11.1 percent in the 2022 general elections. Additionally, the party's House of Representatives seats dwindled from 54 to 32 in the 2022 elections.

Political analyst Rajendra Maharjan views the Maoist Centre as the "messiest" of the traditional political parties, with its organization teetering on the edge of dysfunction. He emphasizes the need to address core issues, such as a leader-centric approach and ineffective organizational structures, to make campaigns like Mission-84 more relevant and effective.

Maharjan observes that the party's recent strategy of engaging in coalition politics has notably benefited Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the incumbent Prime Minister and chairman of the CPN (Maoist Centre). Despite the party's electoral decline since the 2008 Constituent Assembly elections, Dahal's leadership has remained unchallenged within the party.

"The Maoist Centre, since entering mainstream politics, has become entangled in power politics, losing touch with the public's concerns," Maharjan concludes. "The party's focus has shifted towards securing influential ministries and lucrative government appointments."

In recent years, the party's journey through mainstream politics has been marked by a relentless pursuit of power, posing challenges to its original revolutionary ideals. The Mission-84 campaign is now seen as a critical step in the party's efforts to reconnect with its roots and regain the trust of the people it once represented.