“This is the last opportunity for senior political leaders”

"Politics with ideals seems out of sight of late"

Chandra Kanta Neupane

August 19, 2022


“This is the last opportunity for senior political leaders”

KATHMANDU: The Nepali Congress is embroiled in various disputes within itself. Despite its long democratic history, NC has not been able to strengthen its organization.

The party has grown weaker due to factionalism. In this context, Khabarhub’s Chandrakant Neupane talked to Nepali Congress leader and former ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay to discuss NC’s preparation for the forthcoming federal and provincial election, the ruling coalition and its impact on NC’s future.

Here are the excerpts:

When the atmosphere of the election heats up, how are you looking at the election preparation and the tug-of-war?

It is a matter of perception. Nothing happens ahead of time. Time is all-powerful. Great leaders say so quite often.

However, it is easy said than done. I do not think anyone is much attached to the coalition. The form, nature and life of the coalition are still undecided. I had a neck-to-neck competition with the leftist candidate when they were united.

I was defeated by a few votes. NC dissidents also played a big role in my defeat. Now I am in the district for the election as well.

There is a lot of pressure from the party cadres and common people. I am a person who has continuously contested elections for long, regardless of winning or losing, I am a person who is moving forward all my life by taking care of values, ethics and faith.

You are contesting elections continuously after the restoration of multi-party democracy, do you not think that you should take a break now and let others take their turn?

I enjoy spiritual contemplation. This time I did not even participate in the party elections. Because we are 70-year-old people, we have to leave and give place to the youth.

It is now necessary to search for the politics of ideal values. The situation has come to say who is better than NC. Now it’s the youth’s turn. Youth should be given opportunities.

Do you think the coalition will be successful in your constituency?

Maoist Center won Constituency No. 1 in 2017. It is natural to claim the place one had won. However, how they bagged the victory has to be considered.

The party leadership can decide, it has to do so, yet the role of the party cadres and well-wishers should not be undermined.

Victory is not possible without public support. I do not have a claim to a particular thing. You can’t go by rebelling like others by hurting someone’s heart. I have promised to serve people as long as I live.

If you get the ticket this time too, what is the agenda for the development of the district?

I want to devote more to education and health. There is a plan to increase employment, and send people who are going abroad to earn more giving them training, and skills and ensuring their security.

What is your opinion about the coalition and NC’s role?

You have to plan honestly and realistically. If KP Oli had managed his party in a well-balanced manner without showing arrogance, he would have ruled for five years and given results.

No matter what happened, good or bad, plans could be made on the basis of that and could be executed accordingly.

But that was not done. We need to be clear about good governance. For that, it would be better if this alliance makes a 5-year roadmap.

Otherwise, it will bring obscenity everywhere. How to manage it? Even if the strategy of the opposition is to protect their own party, no one will question it.

What is your comment on the strategy and role of the party president and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba?

PM Deuba’s strategy is clear: If the coalition candidate loses and NC can win, the party should claim it. If not, his strategy is to support whoever wins.

Some people say that after the Shekhar Koirala side demanded a 40 percent share, NC has moved towards a split. Will not such conflict affect NC adversely in the forthcoming election?

I am an NC cadre. I do not belong to any faction. Both sides have weaknesses. This is also an opportunity for party President Deuba.

If NC had been united under the guardianship of the leadership, the factionalism would not have erupted.

All parties are broken due to their deviation from the ethics and values.

It is important to ensure that all cadres and well-wishers abide by the party decision and they can vote as per their wish. Leaders should be aware soon. This is the last chance.

How have you reviewed one year of the Deuba government?

It is a coalition government. It has its own policies. If we also start to think about security policy and foreign policy, Nepal may end up on the basis of a conflict due to many kinds of sensitivity in international politics.

It will be discussed with competent people. Foreigners should not be blamed for this. Anyone might want to fish when the water is muddy.

This is the result of immature diplomacy. We say it should be corrected now. A code of conduct has been made.

However, it has not been implemented. Diplomacy should be everything to all leaders. Unfortunately, it seems to differ from person to person.

Nepali leaders often go abroad prior to elections. Does this mean that leaders contest elections and make agendas for the interests of foreigners?

Some of the leaders go for treatment. It should not be taken that way. The main thing is that you have to be clear about yourself. One should make oneself transparent and public. If not, the public will punish and one should be prepared for that.