Hard-hitting stance

The tell-tale videotape going back to the pre-Constituent Assembly polls time has enough revelations to get the world abuzz. What might have seemed a normal case of the Maoists joining mainstream politics to face the historic CA polls had other elements that were hidden from public glare, and seemingly even the UNMIN. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has, incidentally, faced the media and did his best to brush aside what the publicized tape offered audio-visually. Yet, the facts are out for public consumption with the deceptive façade that was presented as regards the number of Maoist combatants and the channeling of the government provided funds in a use other than that it had been specified for. Coming in the wake of Prime Minister Dahal’s resignation, it has given the other political parties enough to look at every move of the UCPN-Maoist as suspicious. Now, the whole episode hinges around the “inflated” number of Maoist combatants.

On this score, Nepali Congress has taken the whole affair very seriously. In fact, Girija Prasad Koirala was the prime minister during those time. Whether

that is true or not has to be confirmed. Yet, it was under the aegis of the UN mission that the verification and confinement of the PLA soldiers took place.

Now, the hornet’s nest has been stirred with the videotape that has the Maoist chief, Prachanda, revealing the reality to the party cadres which is known to all by now. The NC has taken the issue in a grim light. The NC parliamentary party meeting on Sunday saw the party lawmakers vent their anger at the UNMIN for having missed the reality about the Maoists. They want a recount of the genuine combatants by the UNMIN. The NC MPs were also seriously concerned that billions from the national coffers were given to the Maoist cadres which were siphoned away by the Maoist party to supposedly buy arms with the intention to capture the state. However, all ire must not be directed towards UNMIN.

That the NC has shown concern strikes the right chord of the nation at a time when the UCPN-Maoist is stalling the CA proceedings so that a new government cannot be formed, as Dahal remains the caretaker prime minister after his resignation from his post. Despite all the controversies that the Maoists have been mired in, they are still adamant and have shown no repentance at all. What is needed is that they reform themselves so that the constitution drafting process moves unhindered towards completion within the timeframe specified. The consensus that was the top agenda since the 12-point agreement came into being has been all lost with the Maoists ascendancy to power after the CA elections. The only thing that the other parties want is for the Maoists to play fair unlike the unilateral decision to dismiss the CoAS. Even now, the consensus plank has to be put in place for all the parties to work together till the statute is framed, then it would be time for competitive politics to get moving.