Chandra Prakash Gajurel
Secretary, Maoists party, Nepal
TGQ1: How you Mr. Gajurel been assessing the fresh political developments that have taken place in our country in the recent days? Tell us why the CA died much ahead of formulation of a new constitution because the CA had come into existence after a great sacrifice?
Gajurel: The primary reason for the formation of the Constituent Assembly was to create a new Nepal by formulating a new constitution and provide the right direction to the country towards progress and development. For this the election of the CA was also conducted after which we all had expected that a new constitution could now be drafted for the nation which will take care of the Nepali independence and build a new Nepal. This was our thinking. The Nepali population too had expected much from the CA body hoping that we will have a new constitution but alas! That was not forthcoming which has stunned the entire population at the moment. Whatever happened in the recent days could well be taken as a great cheat against the people. The tenure of the CA body was extended time and again for over four years and finally the CA died during the time of Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai. This is very sad news for the country and its people. This has created a new but difficult political situation in the country at the moment. Now the question confronting before us is how the country will take its future political course? A situation has arisen as to how to handle the emerging political situation sans the new constitution now.
As regards to your attached question, the manner in which the Constituent Assembly had to embrace death, the passing away in itself was caused by the leaders of the major parties. They should be held answerable for this sad happening. Simply because they depended much upon the “Dispute settlement sub-committee” which the constitution itself doesn’t mention to have been in existence but yet opined that they will settle all the contentious issue through this sub-committee. These leaders even claimed that the constitution would be made right there and began visiting various RESORT Hotels enjoying luncheons/dinners which only diverted the attention of the population. This consumed much of the time and they collectively extended the CA tenure for umpteen times. In the process the CA body was kept as a hostage for almost two years or so and made direction and agenda less which ultimately caused the death of the CA body and for that Chairman Dahal of the Maoists party, Chairman Khanal and leader Madhav Kumar Nepal of the UML and Sushil Koirala of the Nepali Congress, and Bijaya Kumar Gachhedar of the Madhesi front must be held guilty.
On the other, some external forces too tried to have a constitution for Nepal of its preference by drafting the inner details somewhere else and wanted to impose upon us.
So these were some of the reasons which obstructed the timely draft of the constitution and also for the sad demise of the CA body.
TGQ2: You talk of foreign play, however, you try not to forward their specific names? Why not you tell the truth? But isn’t it that you too remained as a member of the CA body and thus shouldn’t you too remain answerable to a greater extent for the death of the CA body?
Gajurel: Things are more than clear. I just hinted the activities of the neighboring countries. In effect I just to pin point one single country. The Northern neighbor has no interest in Nepali affairs. China is comfortable enough with whatever system Nepal has. China has adopted a policy of non interference in the internal affairs of her neighbors and wishes to enhance its relations with the neighbor with whatever system the country may have. This is their well thought-out foreign policy. Whereas, the Southern neighbor was more than excited in our constitution and been asking as to what sort of constitution will Nepal have, when it would be promulgated and even asking whether Nepal will have a full or a half constitution. This we knew in advance. Even the Nepali media had been informing of such Indian enthusiasm. Yes! When we talk of external interference then we mean to say about the Indian interference.
If all put together, then we can’t escape the blame for the CA body dissolution. But we are not primarily responsible for its sudden death. The manner it is being advertised that the CA members too should be held responsible for the CA death, I think there is no room to blame the ordinary CA members. Because the members had already accomplished their jobs pertaining to the primary draft and the skeleton of the new constitution well within one and a half year of the formation of the CA body itself. As far as our own party is concerned as regards this issue, we have had from the very beginning said that the very formation of the dispute settlement sub-committee and termed it as an illegal one and also demanded its dissolution as it was an illegal entity which went against the constitution. Our party’s steering committee had even suggested Comrade Prachanda not to assume the post of the Committees’ Chairmanship. But he didn’t heed to our appeal simply because some unseen forces could have proposed his name to become the sub-committee coordinator and thus he ignored even the party’s official decision. The one who believes in other’s support, assistance and special favor doesn’t care about the party discipline. Yet we put our efforts and did everything so that we could have the constitution on time but yet we miserably failed.
I think that the reason of our failure was also due to the fact that the job of constitution draft was limited to some four leaders only and thus in a very calculated manner the constitution drafting process was aborted. This was really unfortunate. We should have registered our official protests in the party. We made some protests yet we were not able to halt the procedural methods brought into practice by the major party leaders. Even if we had protested in a meaningful manner, yet we could have failed in obstructing the methods acquired by the leaders. We would have bagged failure even if we protested because of the overwhelming presence of reactionary foreign forces here and there. The entire affair was being guided by foreign forces. We raised this issue on a regular basis but nobody listened to our cry.
TGQ3: So what could be the best and suitable substitute now in your personal opinion?
Gajurel: First, we all should expose all those who remained influential in forcing the CA body to embrace untimely death. The Nepali population now deserves the right to discover as to who were the real men behind the termination of the CA body. The people must be informed by making these elements public. The innocent ones must not be awarded severe actions. The media too must remain sensitive in this regard. The manner the CA body was forced to die; the main man behind such a death of the Constituent Assembly is none other than Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai. He should be held accountable for the CA death. He should now not be allowed to remain in the government for even a single minute. He has committed tentatively a sort of political crime. He must not get any reward for the dissolution instead he be taken to task to which he deserves.
TGQ4: Nepal President has now opened the doors for a national unity government by declaring that Babu Ram was just a caretaker Prime Minister. Will you now be interested in joining the next government?
Gajurel: Well, for the formation of a consensus government, Babu Ram’s government has to resign first. It must be dissolved. This government should be made null and void. If the incumbent government gets dissolved then only can some efforts be made for the formation of a national consensus government. Though the government has become just a caretaker one, however, as matters of lust and greed in sticking to power are concerned, Prachanda and Babu Ram are the ones who will stick to the Chairs until the end of it all. Power and government mean much to them. If someone has thought that Prime Minister Bhattarai will tender his resignation on a voluntary basis then he or she is in a sheer illusion. No illusion could be greater than this event. Prachanda and Babu Ram have collectively initiated efforts in collecting former CA members who singly represent their parties in big numbers in order to exhibit that Bhattarai garners the support from various parties. Under the circumstances prevailing now it would just be a futile affair to think that Bhattarai will tender his resignation voluntarily. That’s why some extra new efforts should be made in order to throw this government out and facilitate the formation of the next national consensus government. The next government should concentrate its entire efforts in strengthening the idea of national independence and explore other suitable alternatives for the drafting of a constitution. Since the CA body could do nothing in its four years term so if things were to move as for the next CA then the people will get further annoyed. It will for sure frustrate the people more.
TGQ5: Is it that you and your team has approached to a state wherein you can’t adjust now yourselves in the same party? Is it that?
Gajurel: The Party unity has now become a distant affair given the prevalence of the incumbent leadership. This has already been proved. Because, Pushpa Kamal Dahal has failed miserably which has already been proved by the historical events and facts because he could not accomplish the peace tasks in a desired manner. At best Prachanda successfully managed to surrender and submit the Maoists militia in the name of peace process. In effect that was not at all a peace process as such. Prachanda disturbed and ravaged the Constituent Assembly body. Not even a single agenda of the party could see the light of the day under his leadership. Thus what could be safely said of Prachanda is that ‘he is the one who has failed in the party but yet commanded the party’s leadership for long’. That is why he should resign at the earliest. If he submits his resignation then only the doors for party unity will open. The party can’t remain united under his leadership. Take it for granted.
Text courtesy: The Greater Nepal Weekly dated June 1, 2012. Thanks.