KATHMANDU: CPN-UML leader Pradeep Gyawali has maintained a low profile after being defeated as a member of the House of Representatives (HoR) in the general election held on November 20 last year.
Known as an influential and decisive leader within the UML, Gyawali is a modest and articulate leader.
Here’s an edited version of a conversation between leader Gyawali and Raju Thapa based on the party’s “Mission Grassroots”, and the April 23 by-elections, among other issues:
UML’s ‘Mission Grassroots’ campaign will run till mid-April. How is this campaign going?
The campaign is being implemented in a very efficient and encouraging manner.
The organization thought it was time to act at the grassroots level since we sensed that the organizational activities seemed to be a bit blunt there.
We believed that the relationship between the people and the workers was diluted. For that, this was launched. This mission has been effective for us to go for all sides.
Is this mission aimed at revitalizing the relationship with the people that were lost when the party was in power?
The main objective is to lead the people and the country toward prosperity. Therefore, this is just a campaign to further strengthen the party’s relationship with the people.
As you know, the foundation of the party is the party members. Renewing the membership, encouraging the existing members to work in tandem, bringing all the issues to a decision, inspiring new youth, and seeking advice and suggestions, among others are the main objectives of this mission.
Through this, we will try to understand the reason why the party’s strength has been weakened.
The aim is to strengthen the CPN-UML. The country needs a strong power.
As you know, democracy is likely to be attacked from various sides.
We also need to understand why the country is unable to make significant progress and development.
Is it that your party joined hands with Prachanda only for the sake of getting to power?
We believed that a phase of the movement came to an end after the new political wave in 2072 BS.
Democracy is constantly being consolidated and the Constitution is also being amended, but our fight for rights and democracy ended there.
If it is not possible to deliver on the basis of democracy and rights, what kind of thoughts will arise in the people? We need to understand this.
We are not among those who go to any extent for the sake of power. Moreover, the economic situation of our country is also very critical lately.
Why are political parties still unwilling to correct their weaknesses?
There are some internal matters within the party. We are aware of that and, therefore, we moved forward with the “Mission Grassroots”.
We are also trying to improve the shortcomings, and we have learned from the mistakes of other parties as well.
The UML seems to be more aggressive than constructive while in opposition. Why did this happen?
That is total nonsense. If the government does good things, I don’t see any reason to protest for the sake of protest.
When things are done to the detriment of the country and the people, it is absolutely necessary for us to strongly counter it.
The laws and politics of this country are not stable.
Political parties, including CPN-UML, are busy campaigning for the April 23 by-election. What results do you expect?
Trust me, UML will win in at least two constituencies. Nepali Congress has lost its ability to compete alone. We know the strength of the Nepali Congress.
Look at the recently concluded election to the Free Students’ Union where NC had to take the support of other parties in the ruling coalition.
Therefore, we very much hope that UML will emerge victorious in at least two constituencies this time.
(Interview prepared in collaboration with Avenues Television)