When Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai met a group of journalists at his residence in Baluwatar last week, he did not seem to bother much about any challenge to his chair. In his almost two hour long meeting, Prime Minister Bhattarai was very confident about promulgating the new constitution by May 27 and concluding the peace process.
“I don’t have any doubt about the promulgation of new constitution and conclusion of peace process before May 28,” declared Prime Minister Bhattarai. “There is no way before the political parties other than to bring the constitution.”
Prime Minister Bhattarai may have reason to express his confidence. As one of the most difficult parts of the peace process is moving ahead and political parties are sitting together to settle the constitutional issues, Bhattarai sounded like he had a valid reason.
But whatever be the mood of Prime Minister Bhattarai and his speech, his party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda seems to have lost his patience. Addressing a press meet along with his two colleagues Mohan Baidya and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda said that his party is ready to accept the leadership of Nepali Congress in the coming national government. “We can support national government under a leadership of Nepali Congress,” said Dahal.
Replying to a query, Dr. Bhattarai also said he is ready to sacrifice everything for peace and constitution. “If somebody can complete the peace process and constitution writing, I don’t want to create any hurdle. I can even resign if such a government can be formed,” said Prime Minister Bhattarai.
However, Nepali Congress leader Sushil Koirala came to rescue prime minister Bhattarai. “Nepali Congress’s priority is not a government but constitution and peace process. “We will go to power only after promulgation of constitution and completion of peace process,” said Nepali Congress leader Sushil Koirala.
Koirala’s statement is a blessing to prime minister Bhattarai who is facing difficulty within his party. As Madheshi Front leaders in no mood to change the leadership and it is still a long way to go before promulgation of constitution and conclusion of peace process, India’s JNU educated prime minister Bhattarai seems to have no alternative.
Announcing the good governance package and economic development plans, prime minister Bhattarai has already tried to woo commoners as well as Nepal’s development partners showing that he means business. As scarcity of petroleum products, long hours of loadshedding and growing incidences of corruption continue to make headlines, what Bhattarai says sounds more like rhetoric and a political gimmick.