Giriraj Mani Pokhrel
Unified Maoists Leader, Nepal
TGQ1: For the last couple of days, the Nepali Congress and the UML have been saying that the Maoists want to capture the state and that is why consensus is becoming a distant affair. By the way, the Prime Ministerial remarks made very freshly wherein he said that he will not resign until the new elections are held. All these put together, doesn’t it prove the very contention of the NC and the UML? Why not to call that the Maoists have been impeding the process of forging a consensus?
Pokhrel: There is no need and reason that the Maoists should quit from the government structure. Neither we have been practicing a religio-politics nor are we the saints. Yes! Definitely the question is of and for power which is to be in the command of the government. Tell me as to why Krishna Prasad Sitaula, NC, and Ishwar Pokhrel, UML, prior to May 27, 2012 joined our government? If we take it just opposite way then what becomes clear is that both Sitaula and Pokhrel had entered into the government to capture the state. Can’t we take it as a move aimed at sacking Prime Minister Bhattarai being replaced by them that is the NC and the UML? Can’t we interpret it that way? Yes! The blunders that Maoists committed while sacking the then Chief of the Nepal Army Staff, such mistakes wouldn’t be repeated. Take it for granted.
Had the Maoists an intent to capture the state then the party would not have entered into the peace process by signing the 12 point agreement.
The CA election had awarded no majority to any single party and thus the mandate was to run the country in consensus. So why as and when the Maoists takes the command of the government it is being alleged that we want to capture the state, however, there prevails a long silence when the Nepali Congress or for that matter the UML steer the government structure for long many years?
So why not to take such utterances being made by the NC and the UML as the one which could be due to theirs not being in power and hence the frustrating remarks?
TGQ2: Many people believe that PM Bhattarai is glued to Prime Ministerial Chair with the foreign blessing. By the way, his expressions upon his return from Brazil did give such a political connotation. Isn’t it to be so? More over the parties which are not in government have been urging the Nepal President to sack the Prime Minister. What say you?
Pokhrel: This question could better be explained by the men of the NC and the UML who have already taken the command of the government and tell the people as to which force on earth had supported them then while in power? Theoretically speaking, Nepal as a nation-state still remains in a semi-colonial situation since the signing of the Sugauli treaty-1816. We just want to make Nepal as an independent nation together with its population. Likewise, in the given condition of the existing transition, foreign forces will definitely prefer to play inside our internal politics if we the parties fail to forge consensus. Or even we at times long for enjoying foreign support. I would say that the foreign forces may have been now even in their action or playing with our internal politics. Even to halt those foreign practices, we need consensus among the parties.
Yes! As far as I understand several parties having no representation in the government including Mohan Baidya Kiran too approached the Nepal President and appealed him to dismiss Bhattarai’s government. But unfortunately, Nepal President has not been allowed nor have the right to dismiss the government as per the existing constitutional provisions. The present day Cabinet is more powerful than the Nepal President. The cabinet is equipped with full executive powers. If per chance, the President dares to dismiss the Prime Minister, a situation similar to Magh 19 will surface again in the country which will create chaos and invite instability in the nation. May be even the country be pushed towards anarchy which may end up in a civil war. That’s why the President who himself stood against the Ashoj 18 and Magh 19 will toe the same line is hard to believe. We don’t believe that the President will take any such wrong steps.
TGQ3: You had been talking loud of having peace and constitution. But the Army integration process too has not yet seen its full completion. The Constitution albeit could not be drafted. Doesn’t this add strength to what Mohan Baidya Kiran and his team had been alleging? Wasn’t Kiran team correct in their assessment?
Pokhrel: Yes! Definitely. These talks these days have been dominating the talks in our party as well. Moreover, let’s say that Kiran ji split the party stating that the line of peace and constitution was a submissive one. But we for one have taken the line of peace and constitution too as a revolutionary thought. But as you stated, it is definitely a matter which could not see its completion. I agree to it. But as you made a point as regards the Army integration, had it been not initiated, the process of writing of the constitution would not have made any progress. The integration process provided a momentum to constitution drafting. Yet we could discuss and have debates on whether the integration process was an honorific one or not, but yet what I would stress that the writing of the Charter would have not made any progress sans the integration process begun. We gave proper emphasis on constitution writing after the Army integration. Later we focused our attention on the need for an identity based federal order and a constitution with the federal system of governance and until the last moment we stick to our main demand which is what I just stated. But since the other parties were reluctant in accepting a federal order based on identity, the constitution, as a result, could not be drafted. This is what caused the sad demise of the Constituent Assembly. History will prove that the line of consideration we took was a correct one. Our agenda has now apparently established among the people and I envision the formation of a broader front in support for our cause and line of thought. Those who did not want the institutionalization of the restructuring of the state in a desired manner were the ones who blocked the agenda of peace and draft of the constitution. If election is held then we will approach the people with these held-up agenda or per chance if election is not held then we will go to the people and wage a sort of fresh movement.
TGQ4: You put blames on Mohan baidya’s team but they opine that the leadership of the Maoists party took up the rightist and revisionist line which is why they split the party to save the spirit of the revolution? What say you in this regard?
Pokhrel: The main problem arose on how to march ahead with the Nepali revolution. It is just a matter related with the one on how you see to it. Our thrust is to focus our energy in all the three fronts e.g. street, parliament and the government. Even more thrust should be awarded to street is what we believe. But Mohan Baidya and his team were not that much positive towards government and the parliament but yet he and his team had failed to raise such issues inside the party meet when the time was appropriate one. They have the problems in looking at the emerging issues and also on how to tackle those. For instance, when we had been advocating a federal order with identity, they, I mean, the Baidya team were engaged in talks with those who were against identity based federal order. They even take the present day government as a set up of the imperialists and also of the expansionists. This is how they have been analyzing this government. I admit that we have political differences inside the party aplenty to the extent that we inside the party were also not agree to some of the actions taken by our own party government yet we can discuss these matters in the party general convention and come up with new all convincing results.
TGQ5: We have been told that your establishment too is mired in problems? Is it a quarrel for position in the leadership? What would be your comments?
Pokhrel: A party will not remain as a political entity if it sans theoretical struggle among the members that comprise the party as such. It will then not be a live party worth the name. So when Kiran Ji preferred to go out but yet the party’s inner theoretical struggle continues. However, it is though not that much inside our party as is being propagated by the media. Our party has various tiers of theoretical groups and has also sub-groups. We have steering committee, Polit Bureau remains intact and also we have the existence of the Central Committee as well. It is at these party platforms we discuss several issues. So what we have said is that if we wish to strengthen the party then the groups and sub-groups need to be dismantled. Definitely, we have certain differences but working procedure wise we are in a united form. We don’t have any problems as such.
Text courtesy: Thanks The Nepali Patra Weekly dated July 6, 2012, and Published in the Telegraph Weekly (translated version) July 11, 2012: Ed.