Nepal | March 22, 2019

‘BP Koirala’s views being misinterpreted’

Himalayan News Service

Nepali Congress leader and lawmaker Pradip Giri (right) speaking at an event held to mark 105th birth anniversary of the party’s founding leader BP Koirala, in Kathmandu, on Sunday, September 10, 2018. Photo: THT

Kathmandu, September 9

Nepali Congress leaders today said the party had not deviated from the vision of its founder late Bishweshwar Prasad Koirala.

Stating that Koirala’s statements and views were being misinterpreted, they said he did what was possible at that point of time but he never compromised with his core belief in democracy and freedom in his 40-year political life.

NC lawmaker Pradip Giri said Koirala always believed in the idea that freedom was a continuous process and that he was successful in bringing maximum possible freedom to the people at that time.

“Koirala adopted various short-term working policies such as joining hands with the king due to political changes in India and world,” said Giri, addressing an event organised on the occasion of the 105th birth anniversary of Koirala. “So it is wrong to say that the NC would not have supported republicanism and secularism had Koirala been alive.”

One of the greatest political personalities of Nepal and staunch supporter of democracy, Koirala is popular among people on both sides of the political spectrum. While the leftists idealise him for his ideology of democratic socialism, the rightists (especially supporters of monarchy) claim to be his true successors because of his decision to join hands with the king.

However, Koirala was in favour of either a king who was under the constitution written by a democratically-elected constituent assembly, or no king, according to Giri.

People, even some NC leaders, have also been criticising the party for its decision to support secularism and collaborate with the communists, stating that it was against Koirala’s vision.

However, Koirala was never against forging an alliance with the communists and had once even proposed communist leader Pushpa Lal for collaboration in the movement against the feudal system, according to senior NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel.

“Koirala had proposed to Pushpa Lal that if the communists accepted the NC’s political ideology, the NC would accept the communists’ economic policies,” said Paudel, adding that Koirala was always opposed to the idea of religion-based politics.

NC Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi said the party had never deviated from Koirala’s ideology of nationalism, democracy and socialism. “Let’s not confuse Koirala’s short-term working policies as his long-term vision,” he said. “It’s time we understand Koirala holistically, not as blind men and elephant.”

A version of this article appears in print on September 10, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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