Past hangover of groupism remains in Nepal UML party

Yogesh Bhattarai

UML leader, nepal

TGQ1: The UML Convention has just ended. So how you take the situation after the convention?

Bhattarai: Yes! The UML Ninth general convention has ended in a historic manner. After the just concluded convention, we have forwarded a new thought. The Nepali society has changed. The convention thus has decided to act as per the changes seen in the Nepali society. This has been decided. That means we have won the battle for securing fundamental rights and with the democratic movement, we have also accomplished what could be taken as an improved capitalist revolution. Now the Nepali political parties more so the communist parties should proceed ahead with the idea of having socio-economic revolution. The UML thinks now to work for a prosperous Nepal. This should be done in a planned manner. For that the UML party must associate with the means of production. The leaders and the cadres must associate themselves together with the labor force. If this scheme is a success then Nepal is sure to move ahead in the direction of socio-economic prosperity under the leadership of the UML. This includes the scheme of alleviating poverty, reducing unemployment, generating employment opportunities and contribute to the expansion of the health and education sectors as well.

Secondly, the UML ninth general convention ended with high democratic practices with competitiveness which has selected its new leadership. We have had adopted this procedure in consensus. The manner there appeared some sort of competition at time of the convention was a competition well within the party itself and thus no one should carry those victory and defeat and issue now. We all have won the game. With this feeling, all should join hands together and move ahead in a united manner. Now KP Sharma Oli is our new chairman. Even if he is the chairman there has been in favor of the balanced representation of the members in the UML central committee. In this given situation let's not bring in the past which would only be taken as irrelevant. The message of the freshly convention is to move together in a united fashion. With this message the UML now will move ahead.

TGQ2: Will the impact of groups and subgroups be seen while awarding party responsibilities?

Mr. Bhattarai: The groups and subgroups that had been in  existence at time of the convention, to which we have coined those as thoughts from varying corners of the party. Those members and even CA members having responsibilities of the party who were associated with varying groups and subgroups too could later be seen toeing a different way. That mentality that was there then could not yet be said that it has been erased completely. We can't say that. That would not be a correct assessment. Even as of now the impact of those differing camps could be observed in the party as a whole. But those impacts slowly will die down. I am optimistic on this. I presume that the groups and the subgroups which were in play at time of the convention will completely lose it existence time permitting. And thus the UML shall move ahead unitedly while being in the process of restructuring.

TGQ3: There are rumors that there lay some snag in the selection of the party's Steering committee and Polit Bureau members?

Mr. Bhattarai: We have all come up though competition. If you look at the numerical difference in between the two Chairman Post competing rivals then you can observe the thin margin. Thus if you look at the party structure power balance then also one could see it is almost the same prior to what remained before the convention.  If you could balance this power structure and move ahead in a united manner then the UML surely has immense possibilities for the party's benefits. But if some conclude that the party should be bulldozed and the functioning would be made by ignoring the rivals then what is for sure is that the party will turn into ashes. For that one should proceed ahead with the main objective of the party and this has no alternative.  We will slowly but steadily move ahead in a united fashion.

Since we have yet do some internal homework thus the upcoming central committee will take up the task of the selection of Steering and CC members.  It may look outwardly that the UML CC has eventually failed for not have selected the said members, however, the fact is not that. The message has spread like this. But it is not so as is being floated in the market.  We are not in a mood to accomplish this task in haste.  It is because we still have the existence of the groupism hangover which remained at time of the ninth general convention. In such a situation if there is a decision made under the spell of excitement on the stated issue then that would mean that we have allowed the party to deviate from its structured path.  On this issue we are careful and in an alert position.  We will arrive at a suitable decision in this regard after meeting the top hats of the party and will also take on to the path of consensus which will be acceptable to all.

TGQ4: So what would be your own personal role if the party begins practicing the mode of bulldozing and ignoring the competent members of the party? And also tell us as to what would be the role of the Chairman KP Oli to dissolve the groups and subgroups?

Mr. Bhattarai: First of all, all should come out from the hangover of the past. The party never had groupism that may have remained forever, as has been the experience. If there remains grouping in the party then that will eventually hit the UML party hard. If one looks through this angle then that is a positive outlook. If there is groupism raising some specific agenda then that would not damage the party as such.  Even the groups that have thoughts of their own in the group then also there is no harm provided those are positive ones.  The party becomes strong with well-built political thoughts.

The new Chairman of the UML has repeatedly stated that he will not be contesting for the current post next time. I had to become Chairman of the party and that now I am the Chair. Since I don't have any preference for the next Chairmanship of the party and that's why I am not interested in aligning myself to this or that group. What he has said, I presume, that he has spoken from his inner heart. If he has spoken so then that would be the prime spirit of the UML party henceforth.

As regards your tagged question, well, first of all we should think as to how we have had read Oli prior to the convention and conversely how he had taken us. This is important. That needs a change. And the message is clear that we all should work unitedly and move ahead in a collective manner. If this happens then for sure we will transform the party and ourselves as well.

TGQ5: How you take the performances of this government led by PM Koirala?

Mr. Bhattarai: The government sans dynamism. The government has not yet functioned in a desired manner. This view represents the common stance of the entire UML party. But the party chairman has been stating that the party's attention should not be eying towards the government but instead centered on constitution draft.  This should mean that the change in the government structure is not in our priority. We at best wish to make this government a functioning one. This is our working procedure for the moment. We have been talking on this issue with the upper echelons of the Nepali Congress party.  The government must act that yield results and is people welfare oriented. The government has been seen slow even in some constitutional appointments. We think that we all should in consensus bring in the constitution on time. This is our thinking for the moment. The government must bring in those parties outside the CA so that they could feel that they too possess love and honor for the new constitution. The UML party is careful in this issue.

Text courtesy The Dristi weekly dated August 19, 2014. Thanks: ED.


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