Ruling coalition is meant to ward off possible alliance against NC

Dhiraj Basnet

September 12, 2022


Ruling coalition is meant to ward off possible alliance against NC

KATHMANDU: The five-party ruling coalition has long been embroiled in the issue of seat allocation. As the issue of how many seats would be given to each party in the alliance has not been resolved, the task force led by Nepali Congress (NC) leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula has given the task of making an agreement to the top leadership.

After failing to forge a consensus on the number of seats, Sitaula submitted a report to the top leaders of the coalition updating them on the work done by his team.

The task force managed to reach a consensus in about 90 constituencies. In this context, Khabarhub’s Dhiraj Basnet approached NC leader Pradeep Paudel to discuss the coalition plans, the task force’s progress report, and the role and position of NC in the forthcoming election. Excerpts: 

Elections are approaching, but seat distribution has not been finalized. How can it affect the party and the election?

This issue of seat distribution is very complicated. It is like the distribution of power. It has been a long time now, and the task force’s previous attempts have failed.

However, it became a problem when two parties chose the same constituency. It will be over in a few days. Now the time for nomination is left. So first the number of seats is selected, then the area is selected and then the candidates are selected.

From the outside, it’s awkward. However, it is easy to sit inside and make a decision. If there is someone who is alone, he decides and goes. However, it was delayed due to the fact that many leaders of the coalition parties claim the same constituencies.

CPN-UML has declared that provided it gets a majority in the upcoming elections, KP Oli will be the next Prime Minister, who will be the next Prime Minister from the coalition if it gets a majority?

One need not declare a Prime Minister while going to the election. Due decisions will be made on this issue once the party gets the majority.

There is a procedure. First, the party should win the election and elect the leader of the parliamentary party. Therefore, it is not much rational to declare the Prime Minister prior to the election.

Do you have any plans to involve the young generation in the party so as to rise to the top soon?

There has been a lot of generational transfer in our party. Many young people have come into leadership. NC should strive further to encourage youth to join politics. Many young people will become lawmakers in this election.

Provided NC bags a majority, who will be the next Prime Minister: incumbent Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel or the youth leader Gagan Thapa? Have discussed the names?

Everyone is the leader of our party. He who has done good must play a role in change. Let’s take the party to victory first, the name can be picked after the election.

We want to do this work after the NC reaches the position to form the government, we want to do this work after becoming ministers and parliamentarians, we have to decide how we can make plans for economic development, leading the economy out of the present situation, ensuring good governance, institutionalizing the agenda of change, etc.

What are the things NC can proudly present as its government’s achievements?

Rather than contesting who should be the prime minister, we have to work out what can be done after becoming the prime minister.

We should think about how to refrain from the weaknesses of the past. Even though KP Oli came to power with a two-thirds majority, he could not do anything good for the people.

Rather than criticizing others, it is high time for us to plan what the NC government should do to meet the people’s expectations.

People wish to see NC contest alone in the election. Why don’t you dare to go to the election alone, without forming a coalition?

It is better to contest alone. However, we are not going alone this time. When we go alone, other parties are likely to form an alliance against NC. This coalition can ward off the alliances against NC.

Has NC preferred the coalition fearing that CPN-Maoist Center can form an alliance with UML? Did NC dread that going alone might shrink the party to the previous position?

In the last election, UML Chairman KP Oli made an alliance to make himself the Prime Minister by isolating us. He had an opportunity to take a stand but he could not save his party. Learning from this, the next alliance should be faithful, and trustworthy.

You contested from the province in the previous election, are you now preparing to contest for the House of Representatives?

Previously, I wished to work in the province. I also worked for five years. This year, I presented myself to the post of General Secretary of NC, and I have submitted an application to the party to make me a candidate for the federal parliament from Constituency 2, of Tanahun.

What if you don’t get the constituency you asked for due to the arrangements to be made in the coalition?

There is no such situation now. People like us are chosen by the party, so I am qualified to be a federal parliament candidate.