RAJENDRA MAHATO, along with two other powerful regional based party leaders, recently visited India and met senior Indian leaders, including Indian Prime minister Dr. Man Mohan Singh and top security officials. Mahato, the leader of Nepal Sadbhawana Party, spoke to NEW SPOTLIGHT on the visit and various issues. Excerpts:
You met with Indian leaders, what concerns do they have in Nepal?
As a close neighbor, Indian leaders are very much concerned about the deteriorating situation in Nepal. This is natural.
What do the Indian leaders want to see in Nepal?
Indian leaders want to see the promulgation of the new constitution and logical end of the peace process in Nepal. They suggested to us that instead of working to extend the tenure of Constituent Assembly, we need to focus our attention to write the new constitution.
Will they accept the new constitution without concluding the peace process?
They have made it clear that the peace process needs to be concluded before promulgation of the new constitution. We too want a similar thing to happen. We cannot accept the new constitution without completion of the peace process.
Have they supported your demands?
What Indian leaders said is that all the problems can be sorted out through the promulgation of new democratic constitution. Indian leaders said that they favor a democratic constitution and One Madhesh One Pradesh.
What is the observation of Indian leaders on integration of Maoist combatants?
Indian leaders are also worried about the delay in the integration process. They want to see the integration process to be completed sooner. Indian leaders expressed concern that Maoists may grab the power and impose communist tyranny by using their combatants.
What are other major concerns?
They are concerned about the peace process and delay in constitution writing. Indian leaders want to see promulgation of new democratic constitution by stipulated time and political stability in Nepal. India’s main opposition leader and leader of Bharatiya Janta Party even blamed Maoists for the present crisis. Advaniji expressed doubt over Maoist commitments to democracy and democratic process. He held the view that there is a deviation in Maoist stand.
It is also reported that your delegation also met the leaders of three armed groups Jaya Krishna Goit of all Terai Liberation Front, Jwala Singh of Terai Liberation Front and Jagadish Adhikary Rajan of Madhesh Tiger.
It was a wrong reporting. We have not met any underground leaders of terai in New Delhi. We can meet them in Madhesh at any time.
Your visit took place just a few weeks after the announcement of Madhesh rebellion. Have you sought moral support from Indian leaders?
Our demand is clear. The constitution needs to be promulgated by May with our demand One Madhesh and One Pradesh addressed. We need moral support from all forces and India is not exception. We even need support of underground armed groups of Madhesh for our cause.
If your demands are not met, how will you react?
We will then have to go to street for rebellion taking any political decision. We may even resign en masse.
What do Indian leaders say on this?
They told us that India is always ready to support us for the preservation and promotion of democracy.
How many leaders did you meet?
We met Indian foreign minister S. Krishna, finance minister Pranab Mukharejee, Janta Dal United leader Sarad Yadav, National security advisor Shiva Shanker Menon, leader of Samajbadi Party Mulayaam Singh Yadav, main opposition party leader Lal Krishna Advani and Congress leader Karan Singh.
What other issues did you discuss with them?
We requested for their moral support towards our proposed rebellion against the conspiracy. We have made it clear to them that the interest of Madhesh cannot be fulfilled without a single autonomous province in the southern plains.