Baidhya’s take on democracy springs hope for the have nots

Kathmandu, October 17:

Senior Maoist leader Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran’ today said his party wanted to institutionalise the type of democracy that serves the lower strata of the society.

Speaking at an interaction organised by the Reporters’ Club, he said the party wanted to learn lessons from socialist exercises that failed in the former Soviet Union.

Conceding that there had been a struggle between adherents of two ideological lines within the party about the forms of democracy and party’s future political orientation, Baidhya said the party would not break because of the struggle.

“All parties are discussing ways to frame the constitution that serves the people,” Baidhya said, adding that the parliamentary system of democracy had failed to respond to the people’s aspirations in many countries.

Baidhya, who has been advocating the establishment of People’s Republic, said federal democratic republic was ‘too much’ for the Nepali Congress, ‘sufficient enough’ for the CPN-UML but ‘not enough’ for his party.

Refuting allegations that the Maoists wanted to follow one-party dictatorship by advocating the People’s Republic, Baidhya said his party believed in “competitive politics, rule of law and human rights.”

Talking on the issue of the integration of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel into the national army, he said, “A large number of PLA personnel would be inducted into the national army as per past agreements. We will also discuss the issue in the upcoming national cadres’ meet.”

Asked if they were thinking of changing the party’s name, Baidhya said the issue had not been discussed in the party. Finance Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai had reportedly said in Washington DC that the party had been thinking of changing its name. “Such statement is an act of indiscipline,”Baidhya said.

On the unification with the CPN-Unity-Centre Masal, he said there must be clarity on the issues of ideology, political orientation and organisation first.

“The issue of unification will also be discussed at the party cadres meet,” Baidhya, who is also a member of the Maoist talks team for unification, said.

Federal democratic republic is too much for the Nepali Congress, enough for the CPN-UML, but ‘not enough’ for the CPN-Maoist