"Party leaders should take the moral responsibility of the party's unexpected defeat in the election as per their hierarchy and it is obvious that the chairman should take a greater share of the responsibility for the election debacle," Unified CPN-Maoist senior leader Bhattarai said.
During a meeting with a group of select journalists at his residence here yesterday, Bhattarai said that taking responsibility could be possible in different ways, including through self-criticism.
Prachanda should take the responsibility of the humiliating defeat of the party in the November 19 Constituent Assembly elections, the former vice-chairman of the party said.
Bhattarai has warned of serious consequences if Prachanda continues with his "undemocratic working style".
The differences between the leaders emerged also over the selection of candidates by the party leadership under the proportionate voting system. Bhattarai and another senior leader Narayankaji Shrestha expressed their dissatisfaction over the issue.
Bhattarai said while preparing the list of candidates, Prachanda neither consulted him nor Shrestha.
Asked if he wanted Prachanda to step down, Bhattarai said that the party may think about that only after an objective and truthful analysis of the reasons behind its defeat in the election.
The Maoist party altogether got a mere 80 seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly.
The UCPN-Maoist, which got 26 seats under direct election, yesterday sent the list of 54 nominated lawmakers under the proportionate voting system to the Election Commission.
Bhattarai, however, clarified that neither he nor Shrestha was for splitting the party, adding that they would struggle against the attitude of Prachanda through the Central Committee meeting scheduled to begin on January 10.
"Objections have been pouring in from all over the country. If the leadership fails to correct the mistakes, it will further aggravate the situation," Bhattarai said.
Bhattarai asked Prachanda to rectify the past mistakes, including the recent unilateral selection of party's lawmakers under the proportionate representative (PR) category.
On Wednesday, Bhattarai and Shrestha submitted a protest letter to Prachanda expressing displeasure over the selection of the PR candidates following which he had assured the two leaders of holding a meeting with them to sort out the differences.
However, he did not call any meeting, Bhattarai said.


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