Unified Socialist will not quit the alliance over minor grievances

Coalition with CPN-UML is unlikely due to KP Oli's arrogance

Dhiraj Basnet

June 7, 2022


Unified Socialist will not quit the alliance over minor grievances

KATHMANDU: The result of the local-level election has added a challenge to the ruling coalition. While the coalition-led Nepali Congress has won several seats in the election, the CPN-Maoist Center and the CPN-Unified Socialists are taken aback by the election result.

Although the Maoist center is in a good position in some municipalities, the status of Unified Socialists faced the worse in the elections.

Amid rumors that some Unified Socialist leaders are holding talks with CPN-UML leadership, Khabarhub approached an influential leader of the Madhav Nepal-led Unified Socialist party, Jagannath Khatiwada to update readers about the party’s position, the change of ministers, and many more.

Here are the excerpts of the interview:

Why did the Unified Socialists decide to reshuffle the ministers in less than eight months in the government?

Those who became ministers earlier will have to join the party activities now. The party realized that they are more needed for the party organization than for the government.

That is why they have been called back from the government and new friends have been given a chance. Besides, the party has to give opportunities to all deserving candidates. So for both these reasons, the ones in the government are called back and new ones are given a chance.

Does not such withdrawal influence their performance and accountability? How can they work out as per their vision in such a short time span?

Our friends who participated in the government earlier got to work on a budget. All the plans have been included in the budget.

The policy program they formulate reflects their thinking, vision, and what they should have contributed to the service and development of the country.

The work they have started will be carried forward by the new ministers of the party as successors. New friends will not let the issues that were started or prioritized in the previous tenure be overshadowed.

That is why we have taken this decision thinking that it will not make much difference if the ministers return from their posts and resume their party assignments.

Besides, other leaders who are going to replace them in the government are also equally capable. It is to give an opportunity to show the excellence of other leaders. The leaders who are coming back from the government also understand it well.

It should not be misunderstood that our representatives in the government did not perform well. Whether they are the actions taken by Prem Ale or the steps taken by Kisan Shrestha or Birodh Khatiwada, our ministers have excelled in many ways.

How did you conclude that the electoral alliance was not much effective and the coalition parties did not cooperate with your party?

We have been collecting information from all 77 districts in this regard. The district committees are yet to send the official information.

When that information comes, we can argue with further evidence. However, according to preliminary information, we have been deceived in many places.

First of all, there has been an attempt to sideline us in the distribution of seats. We requested the coalition partners to fix the seat ratio from the center.

But, the other parties in the alliance did not pay much attention. Local committees came with exaggerating claims. The electoral alliance which could harvest better became a victim due to local pressure. We suffered the biggest blow.

On the other hand, the leaders and cadres of the Unified Socialists acted honestly. However, other parties were found to be trying to sideline our candidates.

Nepali Congress cadres are found to have cast votes to their election symbol only. Maoist Center also did the same. We saw the same trend in Kathmandu. Maoist Center and NC made an agreement and sidelined our candidates in many places.

It resulted in the poor performance of Unified Socialists. Some of the activities of NC and the Maoist Center were really heartbreaking.

If NC and Maoist Center have sidelined and hurt Unified Socialists, will your party leave the coalition then?

The heart is hurt, not broken. Therefore, it is not necessary to break the alliance or leave it. There is no alternative but to move forward united.

We have to move forward by correcting all the mistakes of the past. We have to cooperate by protecting the achievements.

The alliance will continue till the next election. Instead, wherever injustice happened to us in the past, we demand compensation in the parliamentary elections.

The seat distribution in the province and federal elections should be settled from the coalition headquarters. There should be cooperation so as not to hurt anyone’s self-esteem.

Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ remarked that NC has gone arrogant of late. Does Unified Socialist also conclude the same?

We have seen that arrogance not only in NC but also in the Maoist Center. However, we think that by overcoming the arrogance of both parties with our intellect, conscience, and skill, we can create an environment where we can walk together again for the development and prosperity of the country. We will not allow ego to influence the coalition.

NC and Maoist Center might not give you as many seats as you asked for in the forthcoming elections. Will not the problem be the same as in the local elections, then?

 That’s what they need to understand. UML could get a worse fate had our alliance been stronger than this. The UML would have lost 50 to 60 more seats.

If we had not been sidelined in the local elections, the UML would have been pushed back to more places. We didn’t find space in many places.

We believe that they (coalition partners) will realize it and give space to the Unified Socialists in the parliamentary elections.

There are reports that dissatisfied with the alliance, you have tried to cooperate with the UML behind the scene. Have you tried this?

Discussions are going on in politics from different angles. But the reality is that we are the ones who are forced to split the party. There is no way to get along with UML now. I do not see any chance of going together with UML as long as KP Oli’s arrogance prevails. We see UML facing more disasters. There is still no possibility to go hand in hand with UML.

If the NC shows arrogance, is it likely that the Maoist Center, the Janata Samajbadi Party, and the Unified Socialists will form another alliance? Is your discussion moving in that direction?

If the Nepali Congress is stingy in bringing pro-people transformational and socialist policies and programs or if it abandons the basic spirit of the coalition and moves forward arrogantly as if it can win alone, a different kind of alliance may be formed.

The other parties in the alliance may have to work together. However, NC’s behavior is not unamendable. NC has not gone that way yet. That’s why we have not thought that way so far. We have not even discussed it.