A top level meeting of Nepal’s political leaders that was supposed to discuss the prospects of 12-point understanding with Maoists ended as a kid’s joke party: ‘Idiot’ Deuba Stole The Show
By Tilak Pathak
When former Prime Minister and Nepali Congress (Democratic) President Sher Bahadur Deuba arrived at the Koirala Residence this afternoon to participate in the Seven Party meeting, he was in a light mood. He, who reached the house of Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala at 3:45 PM, started cracking jokes with people who were already present there. He greeting with the Lal Salam (red salute) to Communist leaders and Jaya Nepal to Congress folks. He repeated the greetings even inside the meeting hall. After greetings, he wanted to talk about the ongoing visit of Chinese vice-premier. “Confusion about Chinese concept ended,” he said. “Now, it’s become clear.”
“How?” eager journalists instantly threw a question to Deuba. The former Prime Minster replied, “Chinese are saying that all political forces should unite.” Then it was the turn of Chakra Bastola, a Nepali Congress leader, to ask the question. “Who are those forces?” Before we could hear Deuba speaking, Rajendra Pandey, a Central Member of Nepal Communist Party (UML) intervened. He said that those forces should be known. Deuba didn’t respond.
At the same time, Lilamani Pokhrel, Bharat Mohan Adhikari and other entered inside the meeting hall. Then atmosphere of meeting hall changed and folks turned in another issue. Deuba, a late comer, had occupied the chair of Bharat Mohan Adhikari who was in another room meeting Koirala. After seeing his chair captured by Deuba, Adhikari remarked: “That’s why no one wants to leave the chair because it feels bad seeing others occupying that.” Deuba responded: “Oh… These communists are now trying to push too hard.”
Then Deuba went inside to meet his “political guru” whom he famously fought for the presidency of the party in Pokhara General Convention: Girija Prasad Koirala. After conversing with Deuba for about five minutes, Koirala appeared. Deuba was following him. Amrit Bohara, acting General Secretary of UML sat between Koirala and Deuba. Koirala was serious. Finally, Rajendra Pandey wanted to know why Deuba was so happy today. “I am always happy,” he responded. “Even in jail, yaar.” Yaar was the word of the day for Deuba.
Amrit Bohara wanted to know about Deuba’s upcoming visit to the US that will start from 20th March. “I will be [saying] whatever Seven Parties direct me. I will be going there as an ambassador of the Alliance.” And, he clarified that he would be going to the US at the invitation of Columbia University. “They wanted to invite Giraja babu,” he said. “But Girija Babu couldn’t go because of his health condition. Then they invited an idiot like me. May be they thought that I was the most genuine follower of BP Koirala.”
After that note from Deuba, journalists were told to leave the hall. They wanted to talk something serious. Half an hour later, the meeting was finished without any conclusion. The meeting was called to discuss the prospects of 12-point agreement with Maoists and review the ongoing talks with the rebels in New Delhi, India. In today’s meeting, journalists later assumed based on hints they get from sources, leaders couldn’t exactly agree upon the technicalities of the Delhi Talks.
But Arjun Narsingh KC of Nepali Congress denied that and added “We adjourned the meeting because of Koirala’s ailing health.” He also argued that serious talks were always short in nature. “We discussed on the possibilities of peaceful solution of current impasse and the Chinese views on the present political situation of Nepal.” The Chinese view, as stated above, was that all forces should be united. “It’s positive,” KC said. “China has become serious on the internal issue of Nepal and we have taken this very positively.”
The tone of Lilamani was a bit different. “Discussions with Maoists are going ahead,” he said. “There is nothing like we have disagreed. But [in Kathmandu] we are looking for the systematic review of the understanding” But he shied away from disclosing the more about today’s meeting.