Dr. Shekhar Koirala
Leader, Nepali Congress, Nepal
TQ1: How you Dr. Koirala have been feeling as your Nepali Congress leaders are being dubbed as corrupts by the Supreme Court in series?
Dr. Shekhar: This is really very unfortunate. We though respect and honor the Apex Court decision but when persons like Khum bahadur Khadka are being dubbed as corrupts then it becomes an unfortunate event for the entire nation. But this should not mean in any way that we prefer to reject the Court’s verdicts simply because the party, the Nepali Congress, which believes in democratic principles, must not put a question mark over the independent judiciary decisions. We can’t claim that we will not honor the verdict of the court which has already been made. But this could be taken as a paradox in that in the recent four or five years many party leaders have changed their life styles or their standards of living have seen a dramatic changes, for example, many such a things have come to the notice of all and sundry of the leaders belonging to the Maoists party. I mean such change in the life styles of some party leaders too must draw the attention of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority, the CIAA. There must not be a partial behavior by this abuse of authority body.
TQ2: The Nepali Congress at the moment is engaged in a fierce internal squabble when the country demanded a solution on how to get out from the current political impasse. How do you take it Dr. Koirala?
Dr. Shekhar: Yes! I admit that our party is currently has so many internal problems. We do have problems. The leaders of the Nepali Congress must not bring in their internal weaknesses and deviations to the streets. To think that the Nepali Congress will collapse if the party approved the resignations of those Heads of the NC who were aligned with Sher Bahadur Deuba will be a self defeating exercise and let be it a challenge mixed with warning to them from my side. Nothing of that sort is to happen or will take place. Indeed the NC as a party may slightly get weakened but that will ultimately not make any substantial difference to the party as a whole. I mean it.
TQ3: So do you mean that the resignations submitted by the Deuba followers will then be approved? Is it that what you mean?
Dr. Shekhar: Certainly I do not see it that way. But the manner in which they have been terrifying and threatening the party will not work eventually. The President too has been committing mistakes. In the process of managing the grievances, the President added some twelve more units (departments) which were not at all needed, at least for the time being. He should have brought this issue to the central Committee and taken the necessary permission from the party’s CC prior to the formation of some other new departments. Sher Bahadur Jee too should not say that he will not be a part of that and will reject this. Who is to be deputed in the said departments’ falls under the complete jurisdiction and prerogative of the Party President. This is the right of the party president. Deuba has still been talking of the agreements and consensus which had been agreed upon prior to the party’s twelfth general Convention. After the General Convention over, the utility and the authority of the previous commitments and agreements simply came to an end.
TQ4: Isn’t it that decisions should be made by the party after having brought the issue in debate and later forge consensus? What say you Dr. Koirala?
Dr. Shekhar: While constituting the party departments, internal debates are not required or say necessary. This is the exclusive right of the party president. But yet the twelve departments which were freshly constituted demanded a sort of debate at the Party’s CC instead of talking in advance with Sher Bahadur Jee. But here the President committed a blunder by ignoring the Party’ CC. But the problem that is with Sher Bahadur is that he has already assumed the country’s Prime Ministerial posts for three consecutive time yet he wants to occupy the same post once again which is impossible. Is it that the NC party is bereft of suitable and able personalities for the PM Post other than Sushil, Sher Bahadur and ram Chandra? Is it necessary that time and again they be awarded the PM post time and again?
TQ5: What if the Deuba followers resign en masse? How will it affect the party?
Dr. Shekhar: Yes! That would, if that happens, will certainly make the Nepali Congress slightly weaker. And this is what Deuba Jee has been longing for. They are talking false. The formation of the party departments by consulting him and his group in advance is just an absurd proposition. I told you, it is the prerogative of the Party President.
TQ6: So is it the time to hurl allegations or make sincere efforts in finding a solution? What would be your comment Dr. Koirala?
Dr. Shekhar: Yes! The President should concentrate his entire efforts aimed at ending the conflict that has cropped up very freshly in the party. Mind it that the Party President remains as the real guardian of the Party but not Sher Bahadur and Ram Chandra Poudel. That’s why I see the responsibility now lay in the shoulders of the Party president. He should manage the conflict by convincing all. It should now be his bounden duty.
TQ7: So how to forge a consensus then?
Dr. Shekhar: We have the party’s Central Committee. We can thus bring in the issues of difference at the CC meet and debate on those issues which will provide the required solutions. Nepal lost some fifteen thousand precious lives. Weapon warfare was on. We initiated talks and issues were then debated and finally we came to a consensus. Exactly this is what should also take place inside the party as well. Sher Bahadur Jee is exhibiting his lust for State power. However, in this manner Deuba can’t get to what he wants.
TQ8: So you mean to say that Deuba has no chances to become the Nepal Prime Minister? Is this what you want to signal?
Dr. Shekhar: Whether he becomes the Prime Minister or not doesn’t at all depend on his personal lust for power instead if he successfully wins the heart of the CC members, he can easily become the Prime Minister. But he can’t assume this post by threatening the party. Let’s not discuss the issue wherein Deuba’s name was proposed for having consensus. Forget it. The thing has become a matter of the distant party. At best the chapter has thus been already closed.
TQ9: Who is the next prime Minister then?
Dr. Shekhar: There is no need to go in for such a discussion on who is becoming the next Prime Minister. Time demands that who would lead(s) the agitation against the incumbent government and a solid decision as regards this issue must be taken by the party at the earliest. It is almost sure that unless you go in for a movement against this government, no one should think of becoming the country’s Prime Minister. Unfortunately, my own party has so far failed in advancing a clear cut roadmap for the impending movement against the government. For me, I go for the parliamentary election and for Sher Bahadur ji, he prefers the reinstatement of the now dead CA body. I will raise this issue. Those who caused the death of the parliament should feel ashamed in raising the issue for the revival of the same? Do’t they feel ashamed?
TQ10: But Prachanda claims that your party President is willing to become the next Prime Minister but feels rather hesitant in making such a claim openly? What say you Dr. Koirala ?
Dr. Shekhar: I must not keep in the register or for that matter his words in record as to where Prachanda made what sort of claims at various places. All those who possess authoritarian mindset practically act the same way. He has become restive in occupying the coveted Chair of the PM. I had told him during my several meets with him that after the demise of Girija babu, you should take the leading role. But unfortunately, he lacked the needed capability as well as that acumen to lead the country. He is in trouble and is suffering from a complex wherein the first one encourages him for State capture and become a dictator and rule the country and on the other hand, Prachanda wishes to become a political personality like what late Girija Babu had? But that is not possible. Freshly he says that after forming the federal alliance, he will exert pressure on the opposition parties. He is himself in a sheer dilemma. I hereby wish to tell all and sundry through this particular interview that in Nepal it would not be possible to form a single identity based federal order as has been desired by Prachanda. This is what I declare from these columns.
TQ11: But after the formation of the Federal Front, chances have become fair for forging a consensus under the leadership of Chairman Dahal? Isn’t it to be so Mr. Koirala?
Dr. Shekhar: I don’t think that these issues demand serious attention. Let’s wait and see as to how he becomes the country’s Prime Minister? Just wait.
Text courtesy: The Jan Dharana Weekly dated August 23, 2012: Thanks ed. Mr. Pandey.