Baburam Bhattarai has an enviable lungs power. That seems to be turning into a self-destroying power for him. On Tuesday, he spat venom on former King Gyanendra Shah for his ongoing tour of the country. In Bhattarai's inference, Shah's visit is out and out a political one aimed at disrupting the polls. And Bhattarai's prescription was 'put the former King in the jail'.Duplicity and dual standards sins in public life, though not forbidden in politics. But they are rarely admired. Bhattarai has now become a synonym of those sins.
There are any number of people opposing the poll, and saying publicly that they will oppose and disrupt it if that takes place under the existing government headed by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi. Mohan Baidhya has said so . Netra Bikram Chand has reiterated. They have gone to the extent of saying that they may join hands with the former King in order to save nation's sovereignty, national interest and independence. Going by the record, former King said on July 7 that 'election should take place as planned, but a conducive atmosphere should be created so that all can participate'. Left to himself, Bhattarai will not want an election where all can participate. His intolerance towards dissents and criticism make it easy to infer that he will not tolerate voters that may cast votes against him. The perfect condition of rigging that he created in his own constituency last time with Young Communist League cadres lashed with rods to prevent those not supporting speaks volume about the person's democratic credentials, and his love for fair polls. Yes, the team of European observers that witnessed all that chose not to report all these things, but that does not make Bhattarai a democrat.
He is being judged by the people by the promise he made, and failed to deliver even when he was Prime Minister. He is being judged by what he, in company of Maoist Chief Prachanda, gave in writing to Indian Prime Minister's office way back in June 2002, and not having enough courage to let the Nepalese people know its contents. Bhattarai, as Prime Minister, has remained the principal defender of crimes and criminals. His defense of Balkrishna Dhungel is just one case that will substantiate the allegation.
There are debates in the country whether the government can be headed by someone who continues to hold the post of the Chief Justice. That happens in authoritarian system where fair and independent judiciary is a taboo. Hearing against Regmi is on in the supreme court, although there are fears that the apex court may have to be functioning under Regmi's shadow. Not only Baidhya or his party, any one has the right to question the formation of such a government , that was formed under external dictate.
A democracy cannot function when the role of the people is appropriated by leaders who are not accountable to anyone. Republic is not something that survives or flourishes under outside patronage. Bhattarai's Party brought the republic without involving the people directly, simply by luring those in the Nepali Congress with the lust for power. If Sashank Koirala suggests a review of what his Party decided six years ago, that is perfectly democratic. Bhattarai may have dictated or allured G P Koirala to adopt 'republic agenda' on false promise that he would be made the first President of the country. That is the beginning of the rot of the current politics and subsequent loss of its credibility.
G P Koirala would do anything for power. Bhattarai just did that. He promoted corrupts and corruption to be in power. If his Party leaders including Narayankaji Shrestha or Prachanda are to be believed, he mortgaged national interest for power. Are they crimes big enough to lead you to jail Mr Bhattarai? He may be taking shelter behind 'offense is the best defense' dictum. but that will not always be effective.
Bhattarai is a party, as well as the main cause behind the UCPN-M going to the single leadership days, legitimizing Party Chief Prachanda as the Dictator. This is his real face. UCPN-M lobbied to destroy the independent judiciary by corrupting the chief justice with Executive power. Having all elected Party bodies dismissed and pushing Prachanda up to the pedestal was only a natural corollary to the earlier practice. Smashing opponents, moderate forces, national icons, judiciary and symbols of national unity as well as social harmony and those identified with the national interest and sovereignty are necessary towards establishing dictatorship. Bhattarai seems to be trying that once again. But he is already exposed, and discredited to the hilt, unfortunately for him, and fortunately for the nation and the society.