Koirala and Deuba have started talking about the unification but are they ready to hand over the leadership of the unified Nepali Congress to a new generation?
By D Wagle
Finally, after four long years, Girija Prasad Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba have come together to discuss the prospects of unification of their political organizations- Nepali Congress and Nepali Congress Democratic. That partition was not based on principle but mere personal ego between Koirala and Deuba and was fueled by long standing internal feud between Chhattise and Chauhattere.
It was widely believed at that time that Deuba was successfully used by the Palace to split the largest democratic party, to dissolve the parliament and to extend the state of emergency. Intoxication of state power propelled Deuba to go against his party’s will and decision. He was too arrogant to play by the rules of the organization that gave him the post of Prime Minister and all that arrogance he was backed up and exploited by the Palace against the Nepali democracy. Just like Home Minister Kamal Thapa held the general convention of Rastriya Prajantra Party (RPP) misusing the government post and power, Deuba had organized the special general convention of Nepali Congress to declare himself the leader of the faction.
The history of Nepali Congress shows that they have never worked in a cordial manner while in power and they tend to be unified when they are on the street. Now that they are on the streets, defensive and they are starting to talk about unification. Even if that is the case, the latest initiation of unification is a welcome move. Yes, some people including Shushil Koirala and his coterie will do everything to prevent the parties being united. They do not want many people of Nepali Congress Democratic to come in to the mother party fearing possible competition in future for the leadership. Anyone against the unification should be defeated.
The unification of Nepal’s largest democratic party will definitely help the cause of democracy in the country. Both leaders talked about the relation of unification and the ongoing democratic movement. The ongoing movement will be strengthen, Koirala said, if both parties unite. Deuba also echoed the same sentiment. He also added that the unification is a very difficult task since it involve the central level organizations to the district and village level committees. It is indeed a difficult task but when you have will and aspiration for unification, half of the word is done.
It might be a harsh observation but the unification of Nepali Congress would definitely be considered one of the best things that Girija Prasad Koirala could possibly do in his life time. But the most important point, even after unification, would be the democratization of the Party itself. Will the possible unification be able to bring democracy within Nepali Congress? Will the party be practicing democracy while taking decision? Will the old guard let the new generation takeover? These things need to be sorted out while discussing about the unification. Nepali Congress can learn even from the Maoists. Prachanda and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai have said in their Kantipur and Kathmandu Post interview with Narayan Wagle and Prateek Pradhan that the revolutionary duo would be playing the role of statesmen after their party reaches to power. Girija Prasad Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba should do the same. They have played the game of politics enough. They need to rest. And immediately after the unification.