There is no option before us other than to promulgate the new constitution. We have no option now but to complete the peace process by May 27, 2012. If we fail to complete these twin tasks, the people will put the blame on us. As disputes among the major political parties have grown, regressive forces, that have been making efforts to come back, will benefit from this. At this crucial juncture, the demand for Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s resignation will lead the country towards “darkness and uncertainty.”
It is sheer irresponsibility to seek the resignation of Prime Minister Bhattarai. I think this is not the solution, to force Bhattarai to step down at a time when the parties have only two months left to complete the peace and constitution writing processes. I have already held meetings with leaders of various political parties, including our party comrades. Despite their pressure tactics, our party leaders will finally unite for the cause of constitution and peace process. This is just a temporary phenomenon. If necessary, the cabinet could be reshuffled. However, Bhattarai’s leadership will remain there until the parties agree to a national consensus government as envisaged by the seven-point understanding signed on November 1, last year.
In the present political deadlock, the Maoist party is the only one party; the opposition parties are also responsible for the delay in forming a consensus government. I am very surprised to see the dual characters of leaders. Earlier, the Baidhya camp came with a delegation to ask me to nominate Baburamji as the prime ministerial candidate, and now the same delegation has been demanding that I overthrow Baburamji.
From within our party and outside, efforts are being made by various factions to sabotage the constitution and peace process. As the country has already embarked on a new political phase, it is impossible to reverse the process. People of Nepal have already decided their destiny by choosing federal, republic and secular Nepal. This is the mandate of the people and Constituent Assembly has to work towards these directions. Every political party has differences within. The main cause of the intra-party rift is that we want to conclude the peace process, but they want to sabotage the whole process. Since the process has already moved forward, it is impossible for us to go back. Of course, there are certain hiccups in the constitution writing and peace. Within two months, we will settle everything. The issue of form of government and state restructuring will be settled through negotiations. So far as the number of states is concerned, it will be decided in accordance with the political agreement. My proposal is for 12 provinces. We can come to a compromise. Provinces must be named on the basis of identity and capability. In the name of capability, there is no question to give up the issue of identity.
It is unfortunate that some so-called civil society members have sabotaged the visit of UN Secretary Geneal Ban Ki Moon to Lumbini. Had he come to Nepal, it would have given a positive message about Nepal’s peace process and constitution writing. The visit would have enhanced Nepal’s image at the international arena.
Pachanda is the chairman of UCPN-Maoist. As told to media persons.