By Dinesh Wagle
Wagle’s Web Log
I am a diehard republican but I am dead against Maoist Chairman Prachanda’s views that proclamation of republic is more important than holding the Constituent Assembly elections. I have been saying in these columns that, yes, republic is a very important issue but it can’t be the alternative to the CA elections. Is Prachanda saying that we don’t need CA elections if Nepal is declared a republic? If yes, I don’t want a republic order at the cost of CA elections. When we talk about declaring Nepal a republic, we are talking about that only, nothing more. But the CA election doesn’t only include the republic agenda but also address many more issues that need to be dealt with. In addition to the republic agenda, the CA election is also about bringing out a new, inclusive constitution and restructuring of the state of Nepal.
Just look at the date, today is 12 November. The CA election was scheduled for 22 November. I am sure that by the end of the first month of 22 November (or two months at most) the first meeting of the CA would have taken place and Nepal would have turned into a republic. Now that’s not going to happen. Who are to blame? Maoists of course. Maoists deprived us from such a wonderful opportunity to turn Nepal a republic (and do much more like brining out new constitution and restructure the nation) by pulling out of the government and threatening to disrupt the election. When comrade Prachanda says that “there is no alternative to declare the country a republic before the elections” I only see a hypocritical thug in him. That’s the height of double standards, Mr. Chairman, I want to tell him in loud voice.
It’s an open secret that Maoists desperately want to avoid elections and, once again, raise the issue of ethnic division into the mainstream politics. That’s the theme of the line propagated by Badal and other ‘nationalistic radicals’ (and won the endorsement) in the Maoist party’s fifth plenum held in Balaju. There are only two options remaining for the Maoists: either go for all out street agitation (which might turn into a violent war and that’s exactly what the pro-military wing in the Maoist party led by Badal wants) or participate in the CA elections putting their demands of immediate declaration of republic behind. Continuing with the current situation will be like putting the country into hostage of the Maoists intra-party struggle. Does Nepal deserve to be the hostage of the feud between Badal and Prachanda gangs inside the Maoist party? No. Do the Maoists really want another war? So far they (the Prachanda-Baburam group) have been saying that they don’t want. If that is the case and if they want the safe landing of the pace process, Prachanda should start saying this: “There is no alternative to the CA elections.”