The UCPN-Maoist is responsible for the present state of politics. Had the party honestly fulfilled its commitments, the situation would have changed a long time before.
On the part of Nepali Congress, we have taken a clear stand regarding the formation of the government under the leadership of UCPN-Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda. If Maoists want to form the government, they need to fulfill the commitments they publicly made four years ago during the singing of the comprehensive peace agreement and in the 12 points agreement earlier. From writing the new constitution to forming the new government, everything is delayed due to Maoist non-compliance to their agreements and commitments. Unlike in the past, Nepali Congress will continue to stand on its own to strengthen loktantra and republic.
We have made a number of sacrifices and compromises to bring Maoists into the mainstream politics. However, Maoists have done nothing as if they don’t want to join the mainstream. Last time we even accepted the Maoist leadership in the government, making Maoist leader Prachanda as the prime minister. However, they did nothing to integrate their combatants.
Nepali Congress leadership is clear now that there cannot be a compromise on anything until actions replace sweet words. As long as Maoists keep their army, there is no political solution. I have been repeatedly saying this. Maoist leaders seem to have a strategy to keep their combatants intact. It is not acceptable for us. If Maoists want to be a civilian party, they must give up their lust for combatants. No political party can keep an army on its own. From the 12 point agreement till now, Nepali Congress has fulfilled all the demands raised by the Maoists, hoping that they will join the mainstream politics. Given the past tack record, that is not happening.
The time has come for actions not reactions. Maoists must show that they are really sincere to the peace process. Once they abandon the army, we don’t hesitate to accept their government and their leadership in the government. CPN-Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda must show his guts to prove that he is really sincere to the cause of loktantra and republic.
I have credible reports that CPN-Maoist leader is now-a-days increasing his frequency of meeting with former King Gyanendra and royalists. Prachanda wants to balance us by playing former King’s card. I don’t think king is any longer a power in this country and no one can revive the monarchy as it is overthrown by the people.
There is no question about withdrawing our candidate from the prime ministerial race. Nepali Congress will back its candidate until Maoists agree to abandon their combatants. No country in the world has two armies. How can a party contest the elections having their own combatants?
We have done nothing wrong by bringing the Maoists in the mainstream politics. I don’t have any regret for this. Had not we done this, the country would have bled a lot. One thing Nepali people have now is peace and it is a fact. I don’t think anybody can change the present state; Nepal will now remain as a federal democratic republic. This is going to be our destiny now. I don’t think there is any probability of revival of monarchy. It is part of history now. Nepal needs to be more inclusive in terms of ethnicity and geography. Mere wishes of some individuals or persons cannot make any differences. Nepali people have already decided to go for republic by dumping the monarchy. It is not the decision of some political parties but the decision of the people.
Maoist leader Prachanda is now playing in the hands of regressive forces in the name of nationalism. Like in the Panchayat days, they are harping on anti-India slogans to prove themselves nationalists. Some Maoist friends even are saying that Prachanda is making efforts to forge alliance with former King Gyanendra, who is very active in recent days.
We have to promulgate the constitution in time. Whether one likes it or not, Maoists too have no alternative other than to support the peace process and constitution making process. As all other political parties have made a number of compromises and sacrifices, it is now turn of Maoists to give up something. If they agree to give up arm, most of the problems will be solved. I don’t think any party believes in the words of Maoists. They have cheated us several times in the past just verbally assuring us.
UCPN-Maoists are trying to play the game by throwing new ideas and concept like forming the government under a high level political committee. That is unacceptable to us. As a democratic party, Nepali Congress cannot give up democratic principles and values. It seems that Maoists want power at any cost. This is the reason they are throwing various kinds of political ideas.
Of course, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist are pressing our party to withdraw our candidate. But, there is no question of withdrawal of our candidate until a complete agreement with UCPN-Maoist on their combatants.
UCPN-Maoists think that they are clever persons and they can fool us all the time. They cannot fool us any more. We are in a historical stage of writing the new constitution through the Constituent Assembly. Our new constitution will be inclusive as well as progressive which will guarantee individual freedom, multi-party democracy and human rights.
Despite all disputes, all 10 thematic committees have already handed over their reports to the CA and we are finalizing the new constitution. What I can say for sure now is, it all depends upon UCPN-Maoist and their commitments to see the new constitution in time. Out of extended tenure of 12 months, six months have passed. If we continue to debate on non-issues and fail to agree on the basis of constitution, it is impossible to write the new constitution. People are watching us and time has come for us to show our sincerity.
(Dr. Koirala is an elected member of CA and Nepali Congress Central Committee. These are views he shared with New Spotlight)