PB member, Maoists party, Nepal
TGQ1: How to take the Maoist’s party internal imbroglio? Do you think that the Baidya panel is being influenced by the Revolutionary International Movement, RIM? Your comments please.
Gajurel: The present day internal conflict going inside the Maoists party in effect is based on ideological grounds. It is because of the differences in the interpretation of the ideology, the rift has heightened. It is even taking different dimensions. I think, these ideological differences must have some linkages with the domestic as well as international power centers. It is because of these possible linkages, the internal rift inside the party is getting more complicated.
I for one believe that both domestic and international forces have a preference in favor of the completion of the peace and the constitution drafting processes. Then there is the one more force which is not favoring the completion of the peace process and constitution draft. This force doesn’t wish to end the unfinished tasks. That’s why I have told you that some maneuvering is in place from both the sides. For complication of the internal rift, the liberal environment too has its logical share. The present day conflict is in between those who prefer peace and drafting of the constitution and the ones who oppose the entire affair. Even this attitude prevails among the communist parties/movement as well. This is nothing but the manipulations of both the domestic and international forces.
TGQ2: Baidya panel claims that your group has abandoned the revolutionary spirit and become submissive which is why the former panel has been forced to take on to the path of struggle? Is this version correct?
Gajurel: No! It is not that. The conflict has escalated simply because we could not adjust or make a semblance with the interpretation of the ideology we adhere to. The dissenting panel remains adamant in not accepting a constitution wherein an element of compromise exists. If it is so then we can’t draft a constitution through the CA body. Yet another force is deliberately making efforts in foiling the prospect of having a constitution for the country. That is why we presume that some linkages must be there in between and among those who were against the peace and constitution being drafted on time. (Implied Baidya panel as well). All that we have been saying is that when we have come to the CA body, the constitution has to be drafted at any cost. Thus they must clarify their stances and state inside the CA body that they will not accept a constitution made on compromise or should say that a constitution must be drafted even if it is a compromised document. They must clarify their position in a clear manner which remains absent so far. In effect, we must forge a consensus among the political parties on the issues of federalism, state restructuring process, election system and land reforms. We must have a consensus over these issues. If we forge consensus then and then only can we draft a constitution. But I don’t think that the political environment is in their favor (read Baidya panel) and thus it is impossible to think that there will be a constitution of their liking and preference. We favor the draft of the constitution and carry on with the struggle but the Baidya panel is not in favor of having consensus on the constitution draft issue. They are at best in favor of waging a revolt and appear completely against the politics of consensus. This is the main difference.
TGQ3: You talk of drafting the constitution with your avowed agenda. However, we have been told that the Maoists party has already abandoned all of its previous agenda? What say you?
Gajurel: No! We haven’t abandoned our agenda as is being given to understand. But in the process, we have to adopt the phenomenon of give and take policy. We must exhibit flexibility also from our side as the others too have exhibited. If we do not take up the course of accord then the constitution draft will be a distant affair. If we linger with our respective stances, the NC and the UML too if stick to their demands and similarly if the Madhesi parties too toe the same line then the constitution can never be drafted. How can then we draft the constitution then? Consensus demands give and take. The main thing is to incorporate provisions in the upcoming constitution which were in favor of the people. People’s welfare should be the prime agenda while drafting the constitution and for that we must have consensus amongst ourselves. We need a constitution now that takes proper care and attention of the spirit of the ten years long people’s war and also of Nepal's 19 days revolution. We can’t approach to our targeted objective by dismantling the existing infrastructure.
TGQ4: So this does mean that unless you forge consensus with the parliamentary parties, the constitution draft is impossible. Does this mean then that this caps the possibility for having a people’s Constitution? Could it be in the spirit of the mandate of the people’s war? Is it that the party on the verge of a split? What would be your comment on this Mr. Hari Bol Gajurel?
Gajurel: The constitution that is being or will be drafted could well be taken as the “people’s constitution”. Even if you call it an act of compromise but rest assured that we will not draft a constitution that doesn’t take care of people’s expectations and aspirations. That why a constitution has to be drafted that has been written keeping in the overall interest of the people even if it enjoys consensus which can only at best be taken as a people’s constitution.
The new constitution will both address to the spirit of the people’s war and also of the people’s movement. It would be like that. But we can’t draft a constitution of our own liking which is for having a new constitution named “Federal Republican Constitution of Nepal”. We just want to draft a constitution which addresses the basis needs and the aspirations of the people which later would open up several avenues to advance with our prime objectives. We are in this process.
One should not abandon the path of consensus and agreements. In the same way, we must not leave the path of struggle concurrently. Consensus, agreements, compromises and struggle were all interlinked with each other. Agreements, struggle and collective efforts should go hand in hand. Those who have forged agreements and made consensus, have all landed in extremism- trouble in the communist movement. And those who have completely ignored the practices of consensus and agreements too have fallen in the same ditch. But we have adopted the line of having consensus, and making agreements but concurrently without abandoning the struggle line. Based on such practices, we wish to draft the new constitution.
TGQ5: The Baidya panel blames that your group has acquired a rightist posture and become the agents of the Indian Intelligence agency-RAW?
Gajurel: Let’s not talk as to what they have been saying.
To recall, even the RIM around 1992 had blamed us as Rightists. When we emerged victorious after the CA polls and the party forged unity with the Narayan Kaji group, it was also this time Mohan Baidya panel had told that “now the party remains no longer and has become a rightist” party. This is just a blame game simply to malign us. But we advanced much far despite some allegations on our party made in 1992 by the RIM. This dissenting panel is in the same old mindset and has not yet come out from that intellect frame. That’s why they have kept themselves engaged in hurling allegations against us. But we will never abandon the revolutionary character, Mao-ism and Maoists.
We are trying our best to convince them and proceed together in consensus. But they have been demanding Nepal PM Bhattarai’s resignation. If Bhattarai resigns then the parties will deviate hither and thither and begin thinking on the formation of yet another government. The CA expiry date is approaching. Let’s try to form a national unity government is what we have been saying to them. If such an atmosphere comes to us all then we can think of asking PM Bhattarai’s resignation. We want to sort out the emerging political problems but they are hell bent on demanding Bhattarai’s resignation. This does mean that the Baidya panel prefers to force the PM to resign and obstruct the peace and constitution drafting processes. These were adding to the problems.
Text Courtesy: The Jan-Ahwan Weekly dated March 30, 2012. Thanks.