Senior Leader, Maoists Party, Nepal
Q1: Is the party’s quarrel over?
Barsaman: No we never had any quarrel as such in the party. Yes! Differences were there and many of them have already been settled for good. We are discussing even as of now on the ideological differences.
Q2: What were the differences apart from the ideological ones?
Barsaman: The instant work plans and distribution of responsibilities have been settled.
Q3: Is it that the distribution of responsibilities meant the quarrel was on portfolio allotment?
Barsaman: Give it any name; we had some difficulties in work distribution issues which have now been straightened out.
Q4: So your party has accomplished the work distribution task by providing cash incentive for Narayan Kaji and made him the DPM and Home Minister whereas Dr. Bhattarai has been awarded with the post of Nepal Prime Minister without any inducements? Why it is so?
Barsaman: We have accomplished the task of portfolio distribution among the officials, now what remains is to award work distribution of the men currently in the central Committee and the Polit bureau of the party.
Q5: Why the major parties were not at ease internally at a time when the pressing national issues seriously await its positive conclusion?
Barsaman: The discussion in our party is whether to toe the party’s line of the previous years or taken on to a new advanced path. The difference is limited only on how to proceed? Inside the Nepali Congress, there are some who have yet to digest the advent of the new republican order with the sidelining of the Monarchy. Some in the Congress albeit prefer to go with the federal order, secularism, democracy with inclusiveness. Likewise, the UML is also of two differing type. In our party as well, at times voices are heard to toe the previous line of going for a revolt and waging of a fresh people’s war or to go ahead with the changes what we have gained over these years by accepting it whole sole and also to go with the people by framing new strategies. The difference is in between those who do not want to accept the spirit of the change and those who wish to go with the change. This is prevailing in practically all the parties.
Q6: It appears outwardly that Maoists have settled their inner party disputes. How about settling the external issues?
Barsaman: Well, the external dispute is at best related with the peace and constitution drafting processes and also associated with the issue of power sharing. The Militia integration process which is very much closely attached with the peace process, some four or five points remain yet to be well addressed. We are very close to the completion. We all agree that a directorate be constituted under the command of the Nepal Army. Yet what remains unsettled is what would be the number of the integrated militias, the men from the Nepal Police, Armed Police, and the Nepal Army. How to take decision on these matters is yet undecided? Moreover, we have come closer on what should be the numerical strength to be housed in such a directorate. If everything goes smoothly, then it has tentatively been agreed that the strength would be to the tune of some eight thousand plus men. We have also agreed that some sort of norms be in place which will take on the issues of education, marital status and also of the age while undergoing through the process of integration. Likewise, we have also agreed as to if we make the rehabilitation package an honorific one then such an attempt too will contribute immensely in the issue of the integration of the militias.
Q7: Problems appear to have arisen as to which top posts should be awarded to Maoists militias. Isn’t it that?
Barsaman: Job posting is a difficult and sensitive issue. Let’s not make high sounding notes instead let the Commanders from both the sides sit together and initiate discussions. It should be after such an interaction between the two which will facilitate the political leadership to arrive at a solid conclusion.
Q8: Chairman Prachanda has said that even if these issues related with peace process do not get sorted out, the incumbent Prime Minister should resign and facilitate the formation of a new government in consensus. What does this mean?
Barsaman: Yes! Talks have come in a sort of different manner. The fact is that even if the peace process remains stalled by August 13, 2011, the structure of the government will remain the same what we have as of now. Even if there is a national consensus while Khanal remains the Prime Minister of the country, still the structure of the government will see a change for sure. After he resigns, either the new government will come to our pocket or else the Nepali Congress will be told to lead. Understand it in this way.
Q9: So who will lead then the next government?
Barsaman: Our party has forwarded the name of Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai. We have the stand that a new government should be formed which should be led by our party Comrade Bhattarai. This is our determined stance as well. This is our party’s decision. And it is our turn too. Even if we talk of toeing the six months each cyclic order then also it is our time to lead the government. If you take as the largest party that we are and thus also it is our period to lead. I don’t think that the Nepali Congress is willing to lead the government. This is what I think. May be the Nepali Congress is awaiting its turn around the time of the next elections.
Q10: The Nepali Congress has talked of Prachanda could be the next Nepal Prime Minister. What say you?
Barsaman: The NC deserves deep appreciation for that. But who will be told to lead is a question that should be the party’s decision.
Q11: What if the NC-UML combine do not accept or even rejects a new government under Dr. Bhattarai’s command?
Barsaman: No! It wouldn’t be that. Mind it that the government to be formed would be a national unity one. The party should be allowed to select its new Prime Ministerial candidate.
Q12: So how long it would take for the formation of a new government?
Barsaman: New government should come into existence much ahead of August 31, 2011. Practical way would be to form a national unity government and then move with that.
Text courtesy: The Kantipur daily dated August 7, 2011. Thanks.