Don’t you think NC’s popularity and influence are waning?
It may seem so but that is not the case. The NC led the peace process and played a key role to reinstate democracy and transform the country into republican state. Without NC’s support for the republican set-up, leftist forces would not have been
able to do much in that regard. Nepal has reached this stage
only because of NC’s active participation for change. But NC couldn’t take advantage of the role it played in such important events during the Constituent Assembly elections and on other occasions even after the elections. It points to the failure of our leadership. We could not provide security at large during the elections and failed to understand Maoists’ intention.
Who do you blame for the failure? Don’t you think nepotism is affecting party’s credibility?
It is a common problem in all the political parties in Nepal. It is a bigger problem in other parties. But since ours is a big party, the people expect things to be different in the NC. The NC must keep people’s expectations in mind.
Do you think the party can regain its lost glory?
We have faced lots of ups
and downs. But for the present state of affairs, I’d blame the leadership’s failure to galvanise our party organisation to the extent, and in the direction, that it should have taken. There is no need to be unduly worried. Transformation of leadership and structural change would revamp party’s position.
What are the major problems facing the NC?
One of the major problems is the generation gap. The party is being led by older generation, which brought the NC into being, but in the other parties the leadership is in second or third generation. It created a lot of problem and generational gap. We failed to register the support of the younger generation in the CA elections, failed to meet their aspirations. The party’s other problem is its structural set-up. We need more decentralisation. We did not raise the issues concerning different groups of people properly.
If the generation gap is filled and structural problems are resolved, NC’s woes will be redressed to a large extent. If we make Girija Prasad Koirala
liable for all that is wrong
with the party, it will be unfair.
He has been an asset because
of his towering personality. We could have taken advantage of that, but we couldn’t. The party also needs to take the younger generation into confidence.
Why is it that no credible or competent leader has emerged from the newer generation?
The party has always looked for a father figure and not a
political leader. For that reason,
it seems like it is being run
as a family outfit and not a
political outfit. That has been
the NC’s malaise.
How do you assess the recent Parliamentary Party elections of the NC? Will they have any impact on the upcoming General Convention of the party?
The PP elections have sent a positive message. They have moved the party in the right
direction. People wanted to see this kind of exercise in the NC.
It was a healthy exercise. It
would definitely have an impact on the GC. The change in
leadership, induction of new generation at the central-level and structural change will make the NC a vibrant party after the GC. The leaders of the second generation will have to show their efficiency. If they fail to cash in on the chance given to them, they will have to give way to the third generation.
Koirala family has a legacy in Nepali politics, especially in the NC. Will it remain intact?
It won’t. It existed only during the time of BP Koirala. He led the politics of idealism. But his brother, Girija Prasad Koirala, could not do so. He only worked for the politics of power trading. He could not make the NC a vibrant party. He could not lend stability to the party despite having a towering personality.
Is the peace process moving in the right direction?
While drafting the interim constitution, we chose a wrong model for the interim period. The legislature and CA are moving in parallel lanes. This is wrong. It will affect the peace process and the framing of the constitution on time. The CA should have a single objective of writing the new constitution. That can bring the peace process to a logical end. For that a national consensus government is necessary.
How do you assess the role
of Unified CPN-Maoist in the peace process? People are
not sure whether the Maoists would renounce violence.
What do you say?
They have to renounce violence. The politics of violence in modern times is not accepted internationally, regionally and even locally. If the Maoists
continue to back politics of
violence, it would boomerang
on them, because transparency and open politics and violence are contradictory. International community will not tolerate
politics of violence.
How do you react to the Maoist threat of capturing
If the state loses authority it loses legitimacy. It will bring instability in the country. The Maoists are working for
weakening the state authority. If all of us, including the Maoists, did not strengthen the state,
no force or regime will exist. It will invite international
intervention. Even if the Maoists captured state power, it will
be meaningless for them. Prachanda could not deliver when he was in power. The state’s authority has decline. And the Maoists are responsible for that. Even if the Maoists captured
the state, they will not last for long. The world has rejected terrorism and violence. The Maoists need to change if they want to survive as a party.