Maoist, NC differences may lead to confrontation

Kathmandu, October 29:

The failure to evolve all-party consensus on Maoist motions on early republic and all-out proportional representation has culminated in crystallisation of differences on crucial issues between the CPN-Maoist and Nepali Congress (NC) leading a possible confrontation.

More so since the CPN-M had come up with a series of protest programmes to reinforce its 22-point demand. The party has also quit the NC led government as part of pressure tactics.

However, given the way the CPN-M has joined the political mainstream following a series of commitments going back to the 12-point deal, it cannot be expected to jeopardise the political process.

“The Maoists can’t go for the worst being in parliament. They have a few options. They certainly can’t go for the worst form of agitation. At least not until the party undergoes a leadership change” said NC leader Narahari Acharya. But the government is already confronting another challenge of amending the constitution to reschedule the election before November 22. Hence Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala will get to taste the bitterness thrown up by the political discordance on Maoist agenda. The fact that PM Koirala is found to be stressing continued seven-party unity time and again only indicates at the growing possibility of the Maoists not cooperating with the government ahead.

“What is possible is the Maoist leadership may not co-operate. Bargaining could follow. But what is a foregone conclusion is the constitutional crisis will have to be averted,” said another NC leader Laxman Ghimire, adding that “that is a different chapter altogether.”

Dr Lokraj Baral, a political analyst, lamented at the way in which the element of mistrust and suspicion has instilled into the ruling alliance. “They could not keep their differences to them. This has set in mistrust and suspicion. Hope this stops here,” Dr Baral said.

Maoist leader Mohan Baidya said that “we are for a positive role. But this demands sensitivity among the NC also.”