Special Correspondent

Kathmandu, June 20:

The issue whether to go for an election to a constituent assembly or make do with the constitution in place is being debated recently than ever before. Even the Nepali Congress has instituted a panel to explore the option. However, the possibility of the NC leadership actually agreeing to this rebel demand stands exhausted, given the opposition the idea is facing, with many saying it sma-cks of a deep-seated conspiracy. "Of course, we were for it as far back as 1950. But we cannot agree to it unless basic questions are answered," said Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, NC central working committee (CWC) member, at a programme at Martin Chautari today.

Mahat questioned the demand by putting up counter-questions like: Are we going to do away with the system which has constitutional monarchy, multi-party democracy, human rights and supremacy of the people or going to retain them? Ideally speaking, he appreciated the idea conceding that while laws are enacted by the parliament, the original law is made by the people themselves. He, however, enumerated reasons why some are still rooting for election to the constituent assembly. "To begin with, the defenders of constituent assembly stress supremacy of the people when it comes to frame the original law. Second lamentation is we have ended up importing characteristics of Westminster model which does not exactly gel with our social structure, with the reason being rebels want it as a possible solution," Dr Mahat said, insisting that there was no room to believe that we would be successful in our pursuit.

He also referred to the occasional remarks coming from rebel leaders which indicate that the CPN-Maoist is very much keen to evolve the nation into a dictatorship of the proletariat "with Nepal billed as a possible shining example where proletarian revolution was not far away."

He made it clear that the Maoist leadership was forging ahead with two set of commitments: One for the outside world and one domestic consumption "with their demands like constituent assembly being mere "tactical" and "procedural" goals.