N. P. Saud
CC Member, Nepali Congress
TGQ1: The Nepali Congress and some other parties-not partnering the government-had announced a movement against this regime. The talk has vanished in kathmandu’s ethereal medium? It is a fact?
Saud: Yes! We had demanded the resignation of Nepali Prime Minister Dr, Babu Ram Bhhattarai after the sad demise of the Constituent Assembly. On moral grounds, PM Bhattarai should have resigned for having failed to promulgate a new constitution which represents the people’s feeling as it was a matter related with the people. If the Prime Minister submits his resignation, it will facilitate a favorable atmosphere for forging consensus and then with the new premise at hand, we can write a new constitution by restruriung the state that would be followed by a fresh poll which will further consolidate the Demoocratic order. This is our line of thinking. In fact, we had initiated a campaign for carrying down these line of thinking of the party to the people level by activating our sister organisations but unfortunately the advent of monsson obstructed the entire program. Because of the monsoon, it may appear that the speed of our effort to have become slow. But soon we will energise our party organisation by convening a meet of the district level party Presidents. After accomplishing these fundamental jobs, our movement will take a new height, This is for sure.
TGQ2: You talked of the Prime Minister’s resignation for forging a fresh consensus. But isn’t it that you should make efforts in having a new consensus from where you all got deviated? So don’t you think that there should first be conseensus on whether the federal order should be along the line of “identity” based federalism or a multiculural–identity based federal order?
Saud: In fact, the political parties though had a common point for drafting of a new constitution, however, the parties differed over the internal nitty-gritty of the would be constitution. The parties failed to have a consensus amongst themselves on these issues. Mainly the parties have had differeing opinions on how should the upcoming federal order? The Maoists instead of embracing Nepal’s multi-cultural diversity with identity, and accommodating the diversity available in Nepal societal culture preferred to kidnap those uniqueness of Nepal and adopted a line of having a federal order based on identity-community based federal system. The Maoists encouraged for identity-community based federal order instead of what should have been in favaor of accepting pluralism and multicultural identity of the country. The party even pushed those who had been favaoring the community based federal order to wage some sort of movement which is what caused the death of the CA body ultimately.
Had the CA been alaive, the constitution could have been promulgated . Mind it that it was not that much necessary in having a consensus on the promulgation of the constitution then, I mean, when the CA was alive. There were no differences over the procedures in promulgating the Charter. Yes, what was important and urgent was to have full consensus over the internal substance of the constitution for its incorporation in the constitution. Now that the CA body is absent thus there is the differences over how to promulgate the Charter. In such a situation it is more than difficult to find or say forge a consensus over the internal dimensions of the constitution which has got to be incorporated. In such an awakward situation, the Maoists party says let’s first forge a consensus on the internal composition of the constitution and then finalise procedures for the declaration of the constitution. They say that only after the finalisation of such issues, we will facilitate the process of consensus. We tell then even for the acceptance of your party’s assertions, we need to have a national unity government in consensus. We are of the opinion that let the national consensus government first be formed which will expxlore the ways and means for the draft of the constitution, its internal substance and the mode of procedures to be taken. If done so, it will ease the processess pending as regards the issues mentioned above.
As regards these issues, I must admit that we are poles apart from what the Maoists have been saying and taken a different stance. Yet we have been working hard for having a conensus with the political parties. Hopefully, within a few days, the country may get out from the current deadlock.
TGQ3: Will your party appeal the Nepal President to sack the PM if the latter doesn’t tender his resignation voluntarily? What say you?
Saud: The Constitution has some provisions which speak of the rights and the duties of the President. If the country’s existence itself remains in danger and if the national population remain in a dangerously divided state and if the country takes steps towards prolonged deadlock then the Nepal President as the guardian of the nation will have to step in and play his constitutional role. But mind it; the Nepali Congress has no such designs to use the office of the Nepal Presidency in favor of the party’s preferred petty interests. We had some problems as regards the fiscal budget presentation. The President instructed the government to present only a third of the total budget, it was done so. The election commission has said that the EC needs some four months and has also said that for the conduct of the polls, certain amendments were urgent and necessary. Under such situation we are left with only two options: the first one is to announce Ordinance orders or the President should use his special prerogative and untie the political knot as per the constitution. Yet, whatever you want to do out of these two given options, you must have to have political consensus amongst the parties. The Nepal President will not take any steps if it sans political consensus. For instance, if the government fails to bring in certain demanding amendments within July 22, the elections can’t be held as per the declaration. If no election then why for the government? This question will be raised. And this will bring to cipher the utility of the government. The government then will automatically become null and void. That’s why, we hope that the government understands the gravity of the political situation and tender the resignation in order to facilitate the steps to be taken after enjoying political consensus. I presume, though unwillingly, yet the Prime Minister will submit his resignation. I am hopeful.
TGQ4: It is in the rumor here that whatever the foreigners say happens in Nepal. It is also believed that the Nepali leaders act as the foreigners wishes and preferences? What say you?
Some even claim that if the parties clash with each other in this fashion as it is today, the now sidelined monarchy may bounce back? What would be your comment?
Saud: It is not a good matter which has already gone to the minds of the population. For such things to happen, we the men in various parties too were somehow or the other remain accountable. As and when we ourselves become weak, out attitude gets drawn towards seeking support or for that matter have the blessings from others which is not good for the political health of the country. This demands that the parties converge and resolve the internal issues internally without asking for foreign support. We must solve our matters on our own.
As regards your tagged question, well Nepali monarchy has already become a history and has already been buried once and for all. Whatever the dreams the former King is dreaming these days stating that he may bounce back to his own role, is all nothing but a day dreaming exercise only.
Nepali society now doesn’t need a guardian for them in the form of a King. So we must develop a system which runs with the mandate awarded by the people. So the talk of King’s come back or any such matter related with the return of the Nepali monarchy is neither possible nor desirable both. Well. It is merely a day dreaming exercise of those who had remained close to the Nepali monarchy in the past.
TGQ5: We have learnt that the NC is yet to select some officials and form some party departments. Have it been already done or remains yet to be accomplished?
Saud: It has been well written in NC official procedural scheme that after having the NC general convention, well within two months time, all the necessary and important structures of the party will come into its existence. However, it has already been two years of the NC convention held, yet these structures, as mentioned by you, and many more remain to be formed, for example, various departments, parliamentary and disciplinary committee is still due. When it is not at the Center than it is the same at the down level, I mean at the districts and villages. This has soon to be formed after having complete unity with a collective leadership mindset.
Text courtesy: The Nepali Patra Weekly dated July 20, 2012: Thanks.