We have not yet agreed on issues of federal system in Nepal

Narayan Kaji Shrestha

Senior leader, Nepal Maoists party

TGQ1: Where we stand now in the course of constitution drafting process? Is it that the possibilities have gone up for consensus in drafting the national document?

Mr. Shrestha: It is true that we have so far failed in drafting the constitution. It is not that nothing have been done in the mean time, much have been acc0omplished though. The first CA body, to recall, have had accomplished some eighty percent of the total task. But I must admit that during the second CA itself, qualititative works have been not done. We have in the process, been trying hard to accomplish the task of constitution draft and are seriously engaged in the said effort.

The last meet of the apex leaders have awarded the task to sort out the remaining issues wherein the dispute remains by April 23, 2015. It has also been agreed that the issues that have already been settled be sent to the drafting committee. And moreover, the three party leaders have also agreed to consensus was must for drafting the constitution. This perhaps ensures that the nation is geared towards the constitution writing process. The drafting process surely will take a positive course. There have been the emergence of a suitable environment for consensus among the forces favoring the change.

TGQ2: Is it that the major parties have inched closer for a consensus on the issue of state restructuring? It is talked that if you the parties abandon your stance on identity based federal order, consensus perhaps remains round the corner? What say you?

Mr. Shrestha: We have not agreed on the issues on federal system so far. And it is where we have missed. But yet after the last meet of the major parties, things have been moving ahead in a positive direction. There are some indications to this effect.  The party leaders have been mulling over several alternatives. The manner the leaders have felt the need that the constitution must be drafted under any circumstances which is what has encouraged them to think that the federalism issues too could be sorted out easily.

As regards to your tagged questions, well, I would say that our stance of identity based federal order has been wrongly interpreted. We have not thought to forming a state based on identity or a federal order based on community. Neither this is our parties’ policy. It should be views from two angles. Had we tried to form a state wherein the geography only comprises of the oppressed community, with same cultural attitudes than that could have been said that. Or even if we have had tried to encourage only a special community and special prerogatives and in the process the rest communities with lesser rights then that could have been taken like that. However, we don’t have those views. All States have multi-cultural, multi-linguistics and multi-communities residing. All that we need is to award equal rights to all the communities residing in the geography of a State.

TGQ3: So how will you sort out the issue of the five districts? Shall not you wish to observe their interests of the people living in those five districts?

Mr. Shrestha: We have presented ourselves with utmost flexibility. As regards Jhapa and Sunsari some two contradictory propositions have been floated. The first one is to assimilate them in the Eastern Madhesh or Terai. Some even say that these districts should be merged in Parsa districts itself. Since it has been spelt out by the state restructuring committee itself and that is why it is still remaining as a proposal for discussions among the parties. If the people so desire upon listening to their wishes then it is Okay to merge them all in the Eastern Madhesh which gets backed by consensus. But if the friends from Madhesh get convinced and do not object then Jhapa, Sunsari and Morang could well be merged with Pahad. If it is so then our party has no problem. We just made efforts only when the state restructuring committee brought this proposal to which we made it a point of pushing the proposal further. If consensus is there then we are okay with that and if not we are even ready for the second or whatever is decided in consensus.

As of your supplementary question, well, I spent some good time in Japa, Morang and Sunsari districts. I met with practically all the leaders of the political parties and members of the civil society residing in those districts. But the people living in these districts feel that there should be a separate state comprising these districts. So our second alternative is let these districts be made a separate State. If it could not be so then why to impede the CA functioning from taking up its regular course? This is what we believe and think.

TGQ4: It is talked that your party is seducing the Nepali Congress for the formation of a new alliance? Is that correct?

Mr. Shrestha: No. Not at all, We will not be playing any games for joining in the incumbent government. Unless the constitution gets promulgated, the Maoists party will not be in any government of any coalition or whatsoever. That is why we are in no mood to replace the UML and join the Nepali Congress led government.

Text Dristi weekly: Thanks. Ed.

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Comments

  • Posted on - 2015-07-15    by     Karki
  • Narayan Kaji is one of the best politicians in Nepali politics.He made a great effort to conclusive peace process between Maoists militia leaded by Prachand and Nepali government. He is most potential candidate for Noble peace prize.A decade long Maoists war was ended by logical mediation from Narayan Kaji that is why He (Naryan Kaji) should get Noble peace prize. If Noble peace prize committee is really search the real candidate from Nepal Narayan Kaji name should be documented without delay. He is alive political hero of Nepal.That is why Nepal government should be highly respect as late Girija Babu. Without Narayan Kaji even Girija Babu could not get credit that is even he is more height than Girija Babu.