As deliberations over a CJ-led election government continues between the four major political forces, other political parties have been expressing their dissatisfaction over the whole process from which they feel left out. The biggest opponent of a CJ-led government has been CPN-Maoist, which organized Nepal banda against the decision on Tuesday. Kiran Pun and Biswas Baral talked to party secretary Netra Bikram Chand ‘Biplap’ to understand the position of ‘dash’ Maoists on government formation and broader national politics.
How has CPN-Maoist taken the proposal for formation of election government under the sitting chief justice?
Let there be no doubt. This proposal has not come with the intent of providing a breakthrough in the stalled political and constitutional process. I would say this proposal has come on the whim of certain leaders with vested interests. It has come without adequate analysis of the prevailing political situation.
Your party has publicly blamed India for trying to impose this proposal on Nepal.
If you analyze the proposal, you can say that this [India] factor played some part. The way it came out is a little suspicious. There should have been efforts to take all political forces into confidence, rather than bring out such a proposal from within a small coterie of leaders.
Now that the proposal for a CJ-led government has been floated, can’t there be political understanding on it?
The only way out at present is broad understanding among the forces ranging the whole political spectrum. The need of the hour is a new political understanding that supersedes the 12-point agreement and the comprehensive peace accord, which brings all political players, from the left to the right, on one platform.
PHOTO: KIRAN PUN
What can be the basis of such an agreement?
The current crisis emanates from the breach of the 12-point agreement and the CPA. This has created great misunderstanding among the parties. We need a new understanding to turn this misunderstanding into new understanding.
What are the chances CPN-Maoist will accept the proposal for government under Chief Justice?
This is a completely unscientific proposal. To accept it would be tantamount to pushing the country into another cycle of uncertainty and chaos. To believe that the same leaders who were responsible for the demise of the Constituent Assembly and the same ones who have been systematically dismantling the basis of all past understandings will arrive at an acceptable solution is laughable. It is not just the question of whether a CJ-led government will be acceptable to us. We believe the whole process is flawed.
So you don’t believe the CJ-led government is being formed for timely CA polls?
I cannot rule out the possibility that the Chief Justice-led government was proposed with the aim of holding new polls. But even so, as national politics currently stands, there can be no election. When Baburam Bhattarai announced elections for Nov 22, he might have done so in good faith, but he could not even bring Nepali Congress and CPN-UML on board. Even if the two parties are on board this time, the majority of the people, intellectuals and politicians will still oppose the idea. How will polls be possible without their consent?
In your view, what is the way out of the current crisis?
What Nepal needs at the moment is broad political understanding. It is up to the big political parties to create an atmosphere for such an agreement.
Will you take part in new CA polls if they are held?
If there can be broad political agreement, why not? Election is an important symbol of a democratic process, which we accept wholeheartedly.
CPN-Maoist has been talking up the option of roundtable conference. But the party has not taken any initiative towards this goal.
We will revive that agenda at the right moment. Right now, our party is not in a position to play a decisive role. Until we are in a position to play such a role, we will continue on the current course of protests and talks.
Let’s change the track a bit. UCPN (Maoist) is establishing a ‘production brigade’ to employ its cadres who are now without any work. Does CPN-Maoist have a similar plan to employ its cadres?
This is a ridiculous idea proposed by Prachanda. The same leaders who disbanded the PLA, exploited its members and usurped their hard-earned money are now coming up with these big ideas. As far as our party is concerned, we don’t see the problems of our cadres in isolation and as different from the problems faced by the vast majority of Nepalis. The question of compensations comes only when cadres believe they should be compensated for fighting on people’s behalf. The only way the lot of our cadres as well as the broader Nepali population can be improved is through a forward-looking revolution. We are voluntary revolutionists, nor mercenaries.
UCPN (Maoist) leaders have been blaming your party of acting in desperation and trying to enlist the help of former royalists.
This is only an attempt to divert attention away from the main issue. In their reckoning, apparently only the king is ‘nationalistic’. But people are the true nationalists. To spot the nationalists only among the residents of Narayanhiti and Baluwatar is an illusion. In fact, it was Prachanda who asked me to talk to [former Army chief] Rookmangud Katawal and erstwhile royalists. He apologized to Katawal right in front of my eyes [for sacking him in 2009].
We should not be narrow-minded. We should enlist the help of all those who want to take the country on a progressive path. Instead of blaming former royalists for wanting to join our protests because the country is in a crisis, Prachanda should himself join us. For the ex-monarchs to realize that the country is in a deep crisis, while the leaders of a party that went to war to safeguard people’s rights would be deeply unfortunate. Gyanendra at least abdicated his throne. But here you have a long line of leaders lining up to visit Siliguri and New Delhi. If some foreign power proposes to make one of them the new king, they would readily sell the country.
You are often blamed for instigating the break in UCPN (Maoist) because of your vaulting ambitions. Is there any truth to the allegation?
They [Prachanda and Bhattarai] are right. If we had no higher ambitions, why would we fight at all? Instead of fighting, we could have served in the kitchens of Bhattarai and Prachanda. There is nothing wrong in being ambitious. But one should also not be overly ambitious.