KATHMANDU: The issue of change of government has been a topic of discussion of late.
The Unified Socialist party is set to change its ministers as soon as the budget is endorsed.
In the meantime, there were reports that CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli offered the post of Prime Minister to Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and Unified Socialist Party Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal.
This issue was also discussed among the leaders of the coalition.
In this regard, Khabarhub held a conversation with former Minister and Maoist leader Haribol Gajurel on the latest political scenario and the Maoist Center’s internal politics, among other issues. Excerpts:
The issue of cabinet reshuffle has courted controversy within the ruling coalition. What is the gravity of pressure on your party regarding the issue?
Political pressure is not unnatural. Aspirants question why the Maoist Center did not discuss the issue of cabinet reshuffle when other coalition partners have decided to send new faces to the cabinet.
Aspirants should not be blamed for this. The major point is what kind of culture we have created. The problem within us is we have developed the culture of contesting the elections to become a lawmaker and then cabinet ministers.
What also has to be noted is that not all leaders are suitable for becoming ministers.
But, everyone is made a minister despite being not qualified for the position.
Another aspect is that the leaders did not have time to deliver to the people.
It is a serious weakness on the part of the top-notch leaders of the party since they are more focused on protecting their chairs rather than delivering – the result of which is being currently witnessed (cabinet reshuffle).
The number of leaders running for office has increased significantly. This, I suppose, is a major distortion of Nepali politics. This is dangerous.
There is a tendency of intimidation to weaken the government or walk out of the coalition if they are not made cabinet ministers. Is this true?
I am also aware of such a tendency. However, it is not cent percent correct. Now there are not even 4-5 months left for the parliamentary elections.
And, what can a new minister do in such a short span of time? Moreover, the budget has already been presented. And the incumbent ministers will be able to do some work during this period as they have understood their roles and how the ministry functions.
There are reports that some leaders of your party are vying for ministerial posts. How are you managing this pressure?
Yes, several of the leaders are aspiring to become ministers. But unlike other parties, they are not creating a fuss.
Our party does not have such fuss as the Unified Socialists and the Janata Samajbadi Party.
Aren’t some leaders approaching Chairman Prachanda and intimidating him for the post of a minister?
I don’t think so. However, the kind of pressure exerted by the leaders to become ministers is said to reflect the culture of party Chairman Prachanda himself.
Such a problem arises when a person is appointed as a minister without any criteria, but just to fulfill his/her vested interest.
Now that Prachanda has to review how such psychology works.
There are reports that the prime minister will be replaced, not the ministers. Has your own party chairman Prachanda been offered the PM’s job?
This government is formed to overcome regression. Once the goal is achieved, the government will change.
But now that goal has not been achieved. The regression has shrunk, not completely defeated.
Their pride and arrogance have not diminished. They must be defeated in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Therefore, the reports about changing the government are just rumors.
Chairman Prachanda might have been offered the premiership but the party is not ready to accept it.
The current policy of the Maoists is to strengthen the alliance and take this government until the general elections.
This coalition government will conduct elections to the House of Representatives and the State Assemblies.
On one hand, you have been blaming the Nepali Congress for being arrogant. You have been holding separate discussions with the four other parties in the alliance. Isn’t this an ambiguous strategy?
Not at all. In fact, Nepali Congress has been quite arrogant after the local-level election.
Therefore, we are just alerting and cautioning the NC party. There have been shortcomings in many places in the local elections. That must be reviewed.
When it comes to seat distribution in parliamentary elections, there should be a discussion on that as well.
However, there has been no separate discussion among the four other coalition partners sans the Nepali Congress.