A day after Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s appearance on TV, it was Maoist Chairman Prachanda’s turn today to face the media (which was broadcast live on at least on TV station in Kathmandu) and provide his version of what’s going on in Southern Nepal and Kathmandu. Naturally, Prachanda came heavily against “those elements” in southern Terai that are trying to “steal our slogans and take credit of the achievements of 10-year-old peoples’ war and 19-day historic peoples’ movement.” Prachanda also didn’t waste much time before issuing a stern warning to “those elements”: Keep quiet or we will come and take charge of the movement and flush you out. He also talked about the possibility of using AMRIES to bring Madhesh situation under control. “Peoples’ Liberation Army will be taking part if the government decides to mobilize Army” in Terai, he said.
Federalism and proportionate representation are our slogans. We raised those issues. Now reactionaries who were always opposing those issues and were against the election of constituent assembly are stealing those slogans and trying to portray themselves as the biggest republicans, Prachanda said. The Maoist leader also said that the party will launch offensive (in the form of “movement”) if the situation continues.
Here is more from eKantipur: To begin with, apologizing for the weaknesses and mistakes committed by his party cadres, Prachanda said that the Maoists have not given up their political demands of federal governance system, democratic republican set up and proportional electoral system, which he said are interconnected and accused some organizations of trying to distort the CPN-M’s image.
“During brainstorming sessions with the seven parties, the CPN-M did struggle to convince them about our agenda, however, later we agreed for the time being so as to raise the issue again during the CA elections,” said Prachanda. Stating that right to self-governance is the fundamental requirement for the republican set up, Prachanda stated that the CPN-M was deeply concerned over the seven party alliance government’s sluggish and inactive approach towards holding CA elections.
When asked whether the PM’s address will resolve the Terai issue, Prachanda said PM’s address was incomplete and added that the way the issues were put together in the name of addressing the Madhes problem was never going to help find solution to the problem. “We don’t express our solidarity with those who involved themselves in flaring up violence in the Terai region, however, the genuine demands put forward by the Madhes community should be properly and completely addressed and we express our solidarity with the protesters in this regard,” added Prachanda.
Prachanda said that his party believes in peaceful demonstrations and the CPN-M would be organizing peaceful rallies across Terai and that his party would concentrate on revealing those regressive forces that have played roles in instigating violence and unrest. Prachanda also said that he wanted to appeal all to remain alert and cautious as some regressive forces were trying to disrupt the communal harmony and instigate violence. Prachanda also reiterated that the demonstration the CPN-Maoist was planning to organize was not a warning but a notice that if the government failed to create conducive environment to hold the CA elections by the stipulated time, the CP|N-Maoist would take to the streets.