BP Koirala’s national reconciliation thesis irrelevant now: Leaders

Kathmandu, September 11 :

Leaders of the Nepali Congress, Nepali Congress (Democratic) and CPN-UML said today that the “national reconciliation” thesis propounded by the late B P Koirala in 1975 could not be applied in the country’s changed political context.

Addressing a talk programme organised here by the Democratic University Teachers’ Association, Nepal, to mark Koirala’s 93rd birth anniversary, NC-D leader Prakash Man Singh said Koirala’s thesis of national reconciliation was relevant till the 1990 movement, as the NC had been following Koirala’s path of “constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy”.

“Koirala’s national reconciliation policy may not be as relevant as it used to be in 1975 and 1990, as so many things have undergone a sea change after the Jana Andolan II,” Singh said, adding BP’s policy seemed to be irrelevant as both the NC and NC-D have remained impervious towards monarchy since their respective 11th national conventions.

He said monarchy had already become a secondary issue after Jana Andolan II. Singh said it was Ganeshman Singh’s thesis of “working unity” between the NC and the Left forces that brought to an end to the 30-year-old Panchayet autocracy and restored democracy in 1990.

Singh also revealed the fact that the NC had to split after the party leadership became too autocratic and sidelined even founding leaders, including Ganeshman Singh and Krishna Prasad Bhattarai. “A leader of a democratic party must show democratic culture if he wants to keep the party united,” Singh said, referring to NC president Girija Prasad Koirala’s call for unification. He also stressed the need for an honourable unification of the two parties.

NC joint-general secretary and Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said BP Koirala returned to Nepal from self-exile in India after East Pakistan got independence, Sikkim was annexed to the Indian union and Sri Lanka saw ethnic tension during 1975. He admitted that the context of political situation in 1975 and at present was totally different. But the essence of national reconciliation is still relevant, he said.

CPN-UML standing committee member Keshav Badal said it was wrong to sympathise with monarchy, which always betrayed people and the parties which freed monarchy from Rana’s “prison house”. He said national reconciliation must be made between democratic forces and the people, not with monarchy.