Keshar Bahadur Bist,
TGQ1: You have freshly joined the RPP-Nepal. Why you quit the RJP-Thapa and joined Kamal Thapa’s party? Did S. B. Thapa create some problems for you?
Bista: Yes! You are correct. I have just joined the RPP-Nepal led by Chairman Kamal Thapa.
Well, we initiated a campaign in order to unite the three parties namely, the RJP-Thapa, RPP-Rana and RPP-Nepal. We spent some years for materializing these unification efforts. We put our time and energy for uniting these three parties. We were about to bag success in our efforts aimed at unifying these three parties. The talks were approaching to an end and proceeding in a positive manner. The needed and the required documents for unification were being prepared. When the draft of the unity bid was about to be inked, the Chairman of the Rastriya Jan Shakti Party, Surya Bahadur Thapa suddenly forwarded an unnecessary issue which capped the unity bids.
As regards your associated question, well, a consensus draft was prepared for materializing this unity efforts of the three parties. We all have had agreed that we will convene a joint convention of the three parties and push our respective stands in the said joint convention, and had also agreed that the course and the decisions that the joint convention will take or chart, would be binding on us all engaged in the three separate parties. We all had given our nod on this proposition. What had also been agreed that such a joint convention be convened in the coming two to three months time. In doing so it would have set an example of democratic pattern which in turn would have also done away with the conflict as to who is correct and what was wrong. This convention would have settled things in its right perspective giving no space to determine as to who was right or wrong. We had also given our nod that we will abide by the joint convention decisions as the convention itself would have been participated in by thousands of party cadres from across the country. We agreed that the representatives of the people’s decisions would be binding on us all. This had been agreed in advance. The main issues for the discussion at the joint convention were, for example, whether to accept a democratic system with monarchy; or go in for a republican system of governance; and whether or not to accept the federal system and the final was whether the country should be a secular one or otherwise. These were the prime issues for discussion at the impending joint convention.
But when it was time to put his signature, Thapa forwarded a point wherein he said that these acts will be in contravention with the constitution now in force even in going to the desired joint convention. He said that “in such a manner we can’t move”. We contended that even the interim constitution allows for a referendum for the settlement of matters of prime national interests and issues then what is the harm in going to the convention? We also said that the present day constitution was not a full one instead it was just an interim constitution to keep the affairs of the state going. We told him that the constitution is yet to be drafted and we the people have to draft it. I felt frustrated and got somewhat irritated when S.B. Thapa denied putting his signature on the prepared document which had been prepared for bringing about unity among the three parties.
Then I thought how long should we remain inside the room of our own houses and above all how long should we move from this to that house for party meets? My contention was that let’s approach the people with our benevolent ideas and seek their suggestions. If the cadres liked our stance then it is all fine and okay or we will think that our ideas have become quite old enough. My thinking was that let’s go to the people and abide by what they say finally.
TGQ2: But Surya Bahadur Thapa sacked you from the post of the General Secretary. Isn’t it so? So you then mean that Senior Thapa stood well against the three party unification? Do you mean it to be so and further telling us as to why he could have stood against party unification?
Bista: I told him let’s go to the people and ask then whether they prefer the King or not. What the people will say we will abide by their wise counsels; this is what I told him. But apparently he did not like my proposition. Later he sacked me as you have just stated. Since I am a political animal, thus I could not keep myself in oblivion and so I preferred to enter into Kamal Thapa’s led RPP-Nepal. I could clearly see that RPP-Nepal was the right place for me wherein I could observe that this party and the men engaged in this party at least could listen to with tentatively similar views that I possess. This is how I joined the RPP-Nepal.
As regards your second question, well, what I could get from his (S.B. Thapa’s) perceptions that if things went as per his wishes and preferences then that would have been good and okay for him or else he would not heed to voices that go against his own preferred perceptions. That was it.
I told you that he may have not liked my proposition and that’s why we differed with each other and finally he relieved from the post I was occupying then.
TGQ3: Is it that senior Thapa was scared that his party Chairman Post will go to the digs after the party’s unification? Is it that he feared of losing his Chairmanship? Does this mean then that the unity bids among the RJP-Thapa, RPP-Rana and RPP-Nepal remain now in a totally capped state? What say you?
Bista: To tell you frankly, he has grown quite older. He is a senior citizen now with his age that he has now with him. Very freshly, he suffered some serious ailments. He may have thought that he could not be able to become the Chairman of the newly Unified party. He may have concluded this reality?
As regards your marked question, well these were the issues which one could just guess or think or only. Nobody has talked outside about this. But yet it could be true enough.
As regards your question of having capped the possibilities of unification among the three parties, let me remind you that Chairman Kamal Thapa just the other day said about this with the Nepali media men. He mentioned that now the possibility of unity with the RJP-Thapa has been capped once and for all yet the bids of unification with the RPP-Rana will remain in an active state. The process of unity with the RPP-Rana is in progress; however, the same with the RJP-Thapa remain now in a capped state.
TGQ4: Now let’s change the topic. Mr. Bista, you have quit the RJP-Thapa and freshly joined the RPP-Nepal led by Kamal Thapa. So which post you are being awarded in this new party? Or you do not aspire for any posts? Tell us even if you are denied with the post or you yourself do not desire for the same but yet will you remain active in national politics? What say you?
Bista: I don’t need any post as such as you questioned. When I have entered into the RPP-Nepal, I will definitely be of some support to this party wherein I am currently engaged with. I will extend all the support that I can do for this party. This is what I have told my new party colleagues. I have told them this much in advance.
Yes! I do not need any posts. I do not play the politics of posts. I do not possess any sort of special attachment for the posts. This I have made known to all. As far as ideas are concerned, let me admit that I have joined the RPP-Nepal because I like their ideas and philosophies. This has made me to join the RPP-Nepal and nothing else. But mind it not for the posts.
Yes! I will keep myself active in politics for sure but that would not be a play for the posts, as I stated earlier. I am not there having a hope that I will be awarded with some posts time permitting. I will not run after posts and that way I will not be playing active politics simply for enjoying posts. The other thing is that when we talk of being active in politics, it does mean that you study the ideologies and then express your feeling through writings and lectures. To be active should mean that one is active in studying the ideologies only later to disseminate the same among the people at large. I will be active in politics as I used to be in the past. Yet the active role much depends upon the person. It differs from one to the other.
TGQ5: You worked for long in the RJP-Thapa. But suddenly you were sacked. You didn’t feel pain after being sacked by senior Thapa? How you felt in effect?
Bista: No. Not at all. I haven’t felt that I have in any way been insulted. Indeed somewhat feeling pained yet. Of late I had been telling my own party chairman that we are not going to transform ourselves and also told him that the three party unification too has become a distant affair and so I will not be able to serve the RJP-Thapa any longer. This is what I had already told the Party Chairman. Even I had told him that soon I will quit the party so go in search for a new Party General Secretary. When I had said this to him in advance then he suddenly came up with the sacking news about me. This is what has pained me much.
I had some differences with Chairman S. B. Thapa over our party’s alliance with the UML and the Nepali Congress in order to bring about a collapse of the incumbent Maoists government. My contention was that why our party should become the tail of the NC and the UML? Our party was in the NC-UML alliance for dismantling the government led by the Maoists. I had some strong reservations on this issue.
The fact is that the country is in a very bad shape due to the dismal performance of the so called bid three parties. If the Maoists are to be held responsible for the sorry state of the nation then aren’t the NC and the UML equally accountable? I did not like the idea of grouping the RJP together with the NC and the UML. Thus I told that I will soon quit the party for good. Interestingly, when I had told him that I will resign from the current post, senior Thapa convinced me to continue with the post for some more time.
Text Courtesy: The Jan Bhavana Weekly. Thanks. Photo: Kantipur daily.