“Left unity, perhaps, is the need of the hour”

Dhiraj Basnet

September 1, 2022


“Left unity, perhaps, is the need of the hour”

KATHMANDU: Four left parties have initiated the groundwork for Left unity after the November 20 elections.

The Maoist Center, United Socialist, Nepal Samajbadi Party, and Rastriya Ekata Abhiyan have already decided to form a Socialist Center immediately after the elections.

This has, however, raised suspicion among the ruling alliance.

Ruling partners, especially the Nepali Congress, have been raising eyebrows at the Maoist Center’s decision of initiating a campaign of Left unity.

Khabarhub’s Dhiraj Basnet held a conversation with Maoist Center leader Purna Kumari Subedi on various issues, including the formation of a Socialist Center, among other issues. Excerpts:

The issue of Left unity has been widely debated prior to the elections. Four parties led by Bamdev Gautam, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, and Madhav Kumar Nepal have already held talks with Maoist Center. What is the current status?

It is yet to come out how the leadership level has been dealing with the issue.

In terms of public opinion, we have left-wing public opinion, and by uniting it, people are quite enthusiastic.

Even earlier, the Maoist Center and CPN-UML had united as per the aspirations of the people, who still want to see all left forces coming together.

However, due to the weakness of the leaders, the unified party could not go along.

This was basically due to the pride, arrogance, and personal ambitions of the leaders within the party. Therefore, today’s need is left unity.

Is the Left unity a strategy to put pressure on the alliance and, particularly, the Nepali Congress?

In fact, this is not a strategy to pile pressure on the Nepali Congress party. What has to be recalled is that the five-party alliance was formed to save the constitution, and bring political stability to the country.

Bamdev Gautam and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai have decided to contest the November 20 election Maoist Center’s election symbol. Do you think even the Unified Socialists will do the same?

This is a topic of discussion. This matter has been discussed. It depends on the decision. Let’s see what happens.

Earlier, Prachanda had said it was a Herculean task to handle Dr. Baburam Bhattarai. However, why do you think Prachanda readily accepted him now?

You know, we, including Dr. Bhattarai, all fought together. Those who came together in the decade-long conflict were poor and proletarians.

That is how we have come here. That’s why they realized that and came together. We are a party that runs on the method of unity, struggle and transformation, so if people feel wrong, we cannot say that we will not unite.

Talking about the position of Maoists, the party seems to be getting smaller, isn’t it?

The Maoists raised weapons in the past. Therefore, the people have already said that the party should go with good thoughts. We are optimistic that the party will gain new heights soon.

It has been rumored that Prachanda has been too ambitious to become the Prime Minister. Therefore, he is talking about left unity. Or, is it that Prachanda is also holding talks with UML?

Regarding the electoral system, we have been firm in our position on a directly-elected President.

Therefore, whatever responsibility is given by the political situation and necessity, it should not be done by aspiring for any position.

What is the ambiance within the Maoist Center after the re-entry of Baburam Bhattarai?

In a party, everyone has the right to express his/her feeling and opinions. The party is an organization and it should be run according to the system.

During the decade-long ‘People’s War’, the Maoists won the hearts of the people. So debates – whether good or bad –should be held in a party.

President returned the Citizenship Bill to the parliament. How do you analyze this?

After discussing this for a long time, we all voted in favor of the Bill. The government tables the Bill and the government discusses it and the parliament endorsed it. This is the process.

It would be better for the President to address it.

What is your opinion on naturalized citizenship?

There should be equality between men and women. There should also be equality between daughter and daughter-in-law.

There should also be equality when it comes to the issue of citizenship of one country and another.

This is a matter of the principle of natural justice. If you can’t do the same, you have to keep some time.

Citizenship should not be given to non-citizens, and genuine citizens should be given citizenship without any hassles.