Roshan Khanal, now residing in Kathmandu, is associated with lubricant(s) related business. At the same time, he is keenly watching internal dynamics of national politics as well. Sujit Sharma for The Telegraph Weekly and its online edition telegraphnepal.com talked to this young man on several aspects of Nepali politics as a part of our ongoing campaign to promote youth leadership in the country.
Below the excerpts of this interview: Chief Editor.
Q1. The Establishment faction of Unified Maoist led by Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka 'Prachanda' has publicly aired his view wherein he now prefers to eliminate the hardliner faction led by Senior Vice Chairman Mohan Baidya 'Kiran'. What do you think about the tough stand lately taken by the Establishment faction towards the hardliners?
Roshan: Unlike other analysts, I strongly believe that Unified Maoist party is on the verge of vertical split. No force in earth, I think, will save the party from the looming threat of a vertical split. Most of the senior leaders inside Baidya camp are in favor of forming new party to accomplish the so called ‘proletariat revolution’. The activities of the leaders of this camp being guided by the psyche of staging a fresh revolution which, I presume, will split this party eventually.
Not only Baburam Bhattarai, but of late Chairman Prachanda too has accepted that enforcing Maoist's agendas in peace and constitution drafting process is not possible. He is now thinking of forging consensus with other political parties by abandoning major agenda(s) which were strongly advocated by his party during the decade long armed insurgency. For Prachanda, the conclusion of peace and constitution drafting process matters a lot because if the new constitution is not drafted and peace process is not concluded before May 27, then the hardliner faction will regain their strength and will begin to challenge his leadership.
Q2. Do you think that the ongoing peace process will be concluded before May 27, 2012?
Khanal: Peace process in Nepal was unnecessarily prolonged due to the malicious design of the Maoist of capturing the State. Now, I think that the establishment faction has concluded that capturing state is not possible. Therefore, they are also showing eagerness to conclude the peace process as soon as possible. If they fail to conclude it before May 27, 2012, then their combatants will become burden for the establishment panel itself. The frustrated combatants may direct their guns towards the top echelon leadership. The hardliner faction may encourage the combatants to revolt against the top commanding leadership of the party.
The Establishment faction of the Maoists have realized this fact and I think that the probability of the conclusion of peace process before May 27 is very much likely.
TQ3. When this party will split eventually? Can you guess?
Roshan: Whenever a new constitution is promulgated, the Maoist party will split the same date. This is what I believe.
TQ4. On what basis, you have made such thrilling remarks? Can you make it more clear for our august readers ?
Roshan: The NGO's funded by foreign donor agencies and INGO's have, with appalling intention, raised the expectation of Nepali population by provoking their sentiments deeply rooted on ethnic and class structure of our country. Nepal as a nation-state is not in a position to address all the piling grievances and high expectations of its citizens across the country. The identity based politics strongly and incalculably practiced by Maoists have made the things to go from bad to worse.
Baidya camp has understood well that the new constitution will surely fail to address the expectations of several ethnic and political groups and hence this camp is thinking in organizing these groups against the mainstream politics. After the promulgation of new constitution, this camp will get abundant issues and opportunities to cooperate with and ultimately lead these disgruntled fringe parties and the groups. If it so happened then the might of this camp will begin swelling dramatically which will be difficult for the government to contain this aggressive force. Therefore, the Baidya camp is desperately waiting for the date when new constitution will be promulgated. Before this, I don’t see any possibility of vertical split inside the Maoist party.
Q5: The leaders associated with United Madeshi Front have recently declared that they will not accept draft of a new constitution if it fails to incorporate the provision of federalism. What would you like to say about their threat loaded utterances?
Roshan: The declaration of Madeshi leaders should be taken very seriously. Madeshi population has big say in the national politics and hence their aspiration and genuine demand(s) must be addressed adequately. However, we must remain cautious towards the intention of some of the leading leaders of the Front.
No other choice is left with Nepal now than to accept the federal structure. But while restructuring the state, we must consider the ethnic and geographical peculiarity of Nepal. I do not object the idea of federalism, but I strictly oppose the idea of restructuring the state on the basis of ethnicity.
Madeshi leaders are also not in favor of restructuring the state on the basis of ethnicity or nationalities. They are advocating for creating federal units on the basis of geography. But there are some elements inside the Madhesh based parties who have been trying to create federal units by making ethnicity its prime basis.
New constitution must not be drafted in installment. Constitution without the federal provision will neither be accepted by the Madeshi population, nor would the Pahadis embrace it.
Exclusive for telegraphnepal.com