Nepali Congress has sacrificed everything to bring a long lasting peace in the country. However, some forces have been making efforts to marginalize NC from the mainstream politics. In the name of left unity, CPN-UML led by prime minister Jhalanath Khanal and UCPN-Maoist led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal are undermining Nepali Congress which brought the Maoists into the mainstream politics. Our late Girija Prasad Koirala had made a contribution to bring Maoists to the mainstream even by accepting their demands to hold the election to the Constituent Assembly. It is unfortunate that UCPN-Maoist leaders are now ignoring all these supports given them by Nepali Congress. As a party that symbolizes democracy, we are prepared to make any sacrifice and struggle for its cause. Our party has already fought several struggles in the last five decades to establish a democratic process in the country. Our party took the lead role to overthrow 104-year Rana Autocracy in 1951 and brought democracy in Nepal. Following three decades of struggle against Panchayat, our party restored democracy in Nepal in 1990. Our party took the lead in abolishing monarchy in Janandolan II. This means our party has a history of struggles. We fought with Ranas, Panchayat and King and now we are ready to fight with any forces which go against democracy.
Nepali Congress has made enormous sacrifices with UCPN-Maoist in the last four years. We accepted their demand of CA without any hesitation. After the revival of the House of Representatives, we accepted the demand to promulgate the interim constitution. We agreed to hold the elections of CA without integration of Maoist combatants. Is there any party in the world which gave up everything to bring an armed party into the mainstream? I don’t think so. UCPN-Maoist has to understand this reality. Had Nepali Congress leader late Girija Prasad Koirala stood against Maoists, they would not get the benefits and political advantages they are enjoying now.
I don’t think anybody can marginalize Nepali Congress Party which has a long history of sacrifices and struggles. This coalition led by CPN-UML leader Jhalanath Khanal is not an exception. Since the formation of this coalition government, a conspiracy against democracy has started as the government has been making efforts to ignore the democratic values. This is the reason Nepali Congress has decided to remain in opposition to watch the activities of the coalition government led by CPN-UML leader Jhalnath Khanal.
Nepali Congress is serious about the present state of politics. By signing the seven point agreement, UCPN-Maoist and CPN-UML have made it clear that they will not accept the presence of other parties and the views of others. What do they intend now is to get a two thirds majority in CA and promulgate the new constitution at any cost. Of course, Nepali Congress too wants to see promulgation of new constitution by May end but we will not accept the constitution which doesn’t have democratic ideals like pluralism, human rights, independent judiciary, press freedom and individual freedom. Along with federal republic, we want all other democratic ideals in the new constitution. However, the seven point agreement between the two parties ignores this.
Nepali Congress has made it clear that it will not join the government as long as the pact signed between the two parties continues to exist. If Maoist and CPN-UML want our presence in the government, they must scrap the seven point agreement. This agreement is against the spirit of the interim constitution and peace process. How can two political parties say that they will mould the country into this or that direction? My hunch says that the present two parties in power want to establish a tyrannical communist state in the country. By removing monarchy, Nepalese people have already given a message that they will not tolerate any kind of totalitarian and authoritarian regime.
UCPN-Maoist is showing reluctance in the process of integration of their combatants. Nepali Congress has already made it clear that there is the need to complete the integration process before promulgation of the new constitution. We have accepted all kinds of reasonable and unreasonable demands of the Maoist in the past but we cannot do similar kinds of things this time. Our central committee has already taken the stand that the integration of combatants is the first condition for the promulgation of the new constitution later. We are taking this stand because Maoists cheated us several times in the past. They have yet to return the property and land confiscated by them. Displaced people are yet to go back to their homes. There is a limit to everything. Nepali Congress has given everything. This time we are sticking to our demands that integration of combatants is the prerequisite to promulgation of the new constitution.
In the recent time, regressive forces and monarchists are gradually coming forth. I don’t think they can make any changes and challenges to the present nature of state. Nepal will be a federal republican country and its secular image will not be changed. This is a fact now. In a democracy, everybody has the right to express views and pursue causes they believe in a peaceful manner. I don’t believe that the monarchy will return again. Of course, former king, prince and princess are making various statements. Their statements cannot make any impact in the society. This is the beauty of a plural democracy.
Nepal’s loktantra has been facing various challenges and threats but nobody can reverse it. People have already tested the fruits of democracy, liberalism. If you see the recent case of resignation of finance secretary Rameshwor Khanal, he also mentioned that he wanted to protect his own freedom from intervention. This is a good sign that democracy is taking deep roots in Nepal and nobody can uproot it.
But then the seven point agreement is based on the CPN-UML and Maoist wish to turn Nepal into a communist state. Leftists alone cannot rule this country. Even CPN-UML leader Bam Devji has already proposed a government of communist alliance. They want to see Nepali Congress out of politics. This is simply against the spirit of Janandolan II and the interim constitution.
(Dhungana is an elected central committee member of NC)