Wagle Street Journal
This has been a historical election in every sense. Honestly even the Maoists hadn’t thought that they would show such a robust performance throughout the country and win swiftly and convincingly like the way they are doing in various constituencies. Prachanda’s victory in Kathmandu-10 is one of the most spectacular shows as of now and will probably remain as one by the end of the counting all over the country. Look at the numbers: Prachanda’s 20499 Vs 11103 (NC) and 6216 (UML).
This is not just about Prachanda winning. Look ma, who have LOST:
Madhav Kumar Nepal, General Secretary of UML
Shusil Koirala, acting president of NC
Bam Dev Gautam, senior leader of UML
Khum Bhadur Khadka, senior leader (and corruption-in-charge) of the NC
Plus, look at who HAS won from NC:
Narahari Acharya, a leader with clean image who is considered the proponent of republicanism in Nepali Congress
Those with clean image (or relatively clean) or new faces have won. The only candidate in Kathmandu who should have own but couldn’t is UML’s Yogesh Bhattarai who is young and with clean image.
Oldies Must Go: Madhav Nepal, UML General Secretary, has decided to quit which is good. NC’s acting president Sushil Koirala
must follow the suit.[Update: Sushil has reportedly announced his resignation.] The entire central committees of these parties must resign give way to new and young leadership. The parties can’t be hostage of these old and incompetent leaders. Come on, how long they plan to hold their respective posts? Life long? Where is democracy them oldies? Sushil has been maneuvering the Congress politics for the past several years as general secretary and vice president and acting president. Girija Prasad Koirala should resign from the presidency of Congress though he should be commended for holding the CA elections successfully as the Prime Minister. Of course, it seems he should handover the premiership (and also the Head Of State post) to Prachanda as soon as the Constituent Assembly convenes.
I want to recall how intensely we used to have debates about election in our office canteen. Many of the reporters were saying that Maoists would get at most 30 seats. If you said they should get around 50, chances would be that you would be deprived of your tea!
“Well, I come from the middle class and I admit that I failed to understand Maoists’ penetration into the lower- and middle class,” said a senior reporter who supported Nepali Congress.
Today I remember that day (about a month ago) when Prachanda had started to blast the UML leadership for showing indifference to his call of alliance between his party and the UML. He was actually in such a mood that it was hard to conclude he would get such a landslide victory today in Kathmandu-10. UML had snubbed Prachanda’s proposal of alliance by saying that they would win all 15 constituencies of Kathmandu and they were willing to start the talks from the 16th!
Today, while celebrating the victory of their chairman, Maoist activists shouted this slogan: Emale ko Ghamanda, Rastrapati Prachanda! [Arrogance of UML, President Prachanda]. They also shouted: Kathmandu Valley, Emale Khali [Kathmandu Valley, UML washed away.]
Prachanda was clever enough to deliver a speech intended to assure national and international forces as soon as he was declared winner of Kathmandu-10.
Have a look at what he had to say:
“We will work together with not only the seven parties but also the new parties that will be established through this election and the old parties in existence in the forthcoming constitution making process.
“All eyes are upon us. This is a positive challenge for us. I want to clarify that the path of cooperation that we adopted since 12-point agreement will continue.
“For the international community and especially our neighbors India and China, I want to say that our party wants good relations with all of them and is willing to work together on development cooperation and peace process.
“Our commitment on multi party democracy has been expressed through this election as well.
“I have taken this victory as the people’s mandate to us to consolidate lasting peace. We will remain honest to that mandate.”