“There has been no agreement to give premiership to Maoist Center”


December 20, 2022


“There has been no agreement to give premiership to Maoist Center”

KATHMANDU: Political parties are engaged in a tug-of-war for the top post of Prime Minister.

Even the five-party ruling coalition is not aloof from a dispute over the government leadership.

The Nepali Congress (NC) is in favor of giving continuity to the five-party alliance while the CPN-UML is in a process of creating a new equation by breaking the ruling alliance.

NC is also yet to finalize the parliamentary party leader. Khabarhub held a conversation with Shankar Bhandari, leader of the Nepali Congress and member of the House of Representatives elected from Tanahun Constituency-2. Excerpts:

The ruling coalition failed to garner the required number of seats in the November 20 elections. What is your observation about the outcome of the elections?  

Frankly speaking, the election results are not satisfactory. Currently, political parties are engaged in discussions to form the government. We promised the people that we will form a stable government for five years. The parties should not forget the assurances given to the people under any pretext.

How do you see the emergence of new political parties?

This was, in fact, not surprising. A party like Nepali Congress, which should have garnered a majority on its own, failed to garner votes. Therefore, NC needs serious internal reformation, or else the road ahead can be topsy-turvy. NC’s current working style may cause a new political crisis in the country.

Is it true that NC has agreed to give leadership to the Maoist Center in the name of the power equation?

In fact, it’s been agreed that we need to go together. However, NC has not officially agreed that the Maoist Center would be given the leadership of the government.

Is it important that the five-party alliance should continue?

What should not be forgotten is that the previous alliance between the Maoist Center and CPN-UML broke up after three years.

And what has to be understood is that with the breaking of the alliance, the promises made to the citizens cannot be fulfilled.

We have a fresh example of the disintegration of two-thirds of the popular vote obtained by the UML-Maoist coalition due to disagreements. The country’s politics is sensitive and sometimes unpredictable. Various activities are going on here. Leaders must understand the importance of voter’s mandate.

Is it time to change the NC leadership?

This has been an ongoing debate within the Nepali Congress. NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba has already indicated that he would become the Parliamentary Party leader, and considering the recently-elected MPs, it is sure that he would be elected as the PP leader.

Why is it so important to give the post of Prime Minister to Maoist Chairman Prachanda?

In fact, it is because of understanding and commitment. Failure to do so will lose our ethics and accountability, and can even convey a negative message among the people.

It is not just a question of becoming the Prime Minister. It is the issue of addressing the needs of the people and ensuring good government, and corruption control, among others.

Since both Deuba and Prachanda are vying for the top post, what can be the middle way?

A leader who can bail the country out of the crisis and bring about positive changes should be given the leadership of the government.

The government, parliament and the President need to be strong.