Nepal: CJ Regmi is Nepali Congress preference but not of Prachanda

Ram Chandra Poudel

Vice Chairman, Nepali Congress party, Nepal

TGQ1: Why it is happening so that the all party meetings are becoming a failure? So how the things would be settled because what is being observed is that the four parties have firmly stood in favor of their respective stances?

What say you?

Poudel: The fact is that such all party conferences or say those of round table discussions always land with inconclusive results. These can’t bring about rock-solid decisions. Because of such indecision, Nepal has to practice such meets with limited party participations.  This is our compulsion at the moment. The same had happened with the fate of the previous Constituent Assembly. As and when we met with all party participations then what used to be is that just one could listen to what others had been saying when it was time to take important decisions. Decisions and results were never there as and when such meets took place in the past. Finally, what was being done is that the parties finally used to say that Okay you three parties finalize and then come to a firm conclusion. It was this way these three parties have had to take the entire responsibilities.

Yes! That’s true.  There are several issues on which the four parties still differ sharply. But at least we are clear in say two to three issues. We have learnt some lessons from the past conduct of the CA body and the new CA should be made a smart and efficient one and at the same time we must honor the people’s mandate.  For sure, the Nepali population was not in favor of such a jumbo CA body in the past. The population was dead against such a huge body and still remains. The previous CA body which housed some 601 members always drew scathing criticisms from the population. The population had made it a target, let’s admit this fact. That is why such a huge number for the CA body for the draft of the constitution is neither desirable nor affordable.  Our experience says that when you have a gigantic size then that instead of supporting for the draft of the constitution works just the otherwise.

TGQ2: This means that the NC is against having the same set of 601 CA members? But Comrade Prachanda apparently favors the same set? And in addition, the smaller parties too have been demanding the same CA size?

Poudel: We four parties in the recent past have had decided to have some 491 members. Now the dispute has emerged when the question of having the same 601 cropped up.

Well! Well!! He has this habit. And that is why a signal is being conveyed to the population that the parties differ on several issues. It brings about more complications when one tries to award the share to each and every party by making the size bigger. And more over, he is reverting the once already agreed upon decision. It is because of his erratic habits that has landed the country into such a painful situation.  When we decide on one thing, we go by that resolution and meet the people; however, Prachanda keeps on changing his political overtones. This brings us all closer to trouble. These acts disillusion the people and the people in turn begin cursing the political parties. No one can trust Prachanda. The agreement stands at 491 members can’t be changed under any circumstances. At best this 491 too appears to be big thus we can think of downsizing this number even. The people have not wished for having such a jumbo CA body.

As regards your associated question, well what has been also noticed that there exists a one single individual led party?  Is it possible to push differing demands in the name of having different parties? Will that be a possible affair? Anarchy has emerged due to the erratic practices being adopted by some in the name of having the political party or parties. Let’s not expect any peaceful environment from such anarchists. These will not forward expected solutions. The country will remain in a mess and the nation ultimately will have to pay the price.

TGQ3: The question of threshold, the smaller parties differ with your stance. How will you satisfy their anxieties? Understandably, it is going to be difficult for the smaller ones to garner one percent of the total votes. Isn’t it so?

Poudel: Definitely, on this question, some smaller parties have their opposing stances. But yet some among the smaller parties do agree that there must prevail some sort of measuring standard. This is what some have been saying.

If the smaller parties feel that they can’t even garner one percent vote then why should they embrace the poll in the name of the parties? They are thus advised to adapt to some other occupation. In order to become the people’s representatives, one must have enough votes at time of the election. Isn’t it so?

TGQ4: The election dates are yet to be announced.  So how you could expect the demanded management for the poll? What would be your comment?

Poudel: There is no need to worry for the announcement of the election dates in haste. What is primarily important is that first we must ensure that the election is conducted in an environment that is problem free. For these, appropriate atmosphere prevalence is important. When everything is ready for the election in a managed way then the dates could and should be announced. Talks are necessary to bring in the party led by Mohan Baidya also through logical debates and convincing the party.  They must be brought into track.  Three things must be there: first fair election second is that election is conducted in a manner that it demands and the third one is that the election gets conducted in a fearless manner. If these three elements are ensured then the election dates could be announced which would be relevant also. When the election in June has been deferred then we have enough time for the poll in November. I fail to understand as to why some quarters wish the announcement of the dates of the election in haste? This is very surprising for me.

TGQ5: You claim that Prachanda’s utterances could not be trusted yet you loiter around him? It is said that NC toes the line taken up by Prachanda? Moreover, the plan to elevate Justice Regmi as election government chief was also his idea that you and your party subscribed? We have been told that the NC took up Prachanda’s line while selecting Lok Man Singh Karki for CIAA Chief Post? Isn’t it to be so? What say you?

Poudel: How we toed his line and how we have been going as per his terms? We are going together with him as it is necessary to move collectively with the political parties. This is not our choice but a compulsion only. Is it a blunder to go along with him in managing the political affairs?

How the Nepali Congress adopted Prachanda’s line? The NC has its own line of thoughts and ideologies. We have our own plans and strategies and we have been sticking to our own charted line of thoughts. Don’t you observe these?

No! No! No! That’s not the line of Chairman Prachanda. Instead that is our contour. We charted this line because we wanted to unseat PM Bhattarai of the Maoists party in order to embrace the CA poll. We did it because that was our contention. So let’s think this way that the nation is moving ahead as per our, I mean, the Nepali Congress guidelines for having election but not the otherwise. Had we not done so then the possibility of the election would have distanced further. Take it for granted that the new government has replaced the Maoists led government which is what the NC preferred and has come to true. So this is our choice but not of Prachanda.

Okay. Some political events have definitely been taken as per the lines of Prachanda and Bijaya Kumar Gachhedar. And that is why such decisions have drawn severe criticisms.

Text courtesy: The Ghatana Ra Bichar Weekly May 15, 2013. Thanks: Chief Ed.  

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