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Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Stays On-Part XXII

Issue 34, August 19, 2012

Siddhi B Ranjitkar

Twenty-one political parties including the two major parties such as UCPN-Maoist and UDMF set up a Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) with the objective of crafting a new constitution with the provision for federalism and institutionalize the federalism in Nepal when the opposition coalition of NC and CPN-UML had been drumming for taking over power from the ruling coalition of UCPN-Maoist and UDMF. As expected the NC and CPN-UML stayed away from the alliance, and the CPN-Maoist headed by Mohan Vaidhya Kiran also did not join the alliance. A political battle had been going on between the pro and against federalism with the identity-based provinces.

At a press conference held at a hotel in Kathmandu on Wednesday, August 15, 2012, representatives of the 21 political parties jointly announced the formation of a FDRA to keep the aspirations of Nepalis for Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal with identity-based federal provinces, as the anti-federalists had been intensifying their efforts on stopping Nepal becoming a Federal Democratic Republic after the dissolution of the CA that was supposed to complete the crating of a new constitution with the provision for federalism and identity-based federal provinces.

Some of the politicians had been openly telling the people that the anti-federalists had been instrumental in the dissolution of the CA, as they saw that a new constitution was going to be crafted with federalism and identity-based federal provinces. For example, speaking at an event held by his party on August 14, 2012, Chairman of Madhesi People’s Rights Forum-Nepal Upendra Yadav alleged that elements against crafting a new constitution with federalism, inclusion and identity had been responsible for dissolving the historic Constituent Assembly causing the country to lose the achievements of the people's movement and Madhes movement, and pointed out the need for forging a political unity to solve the current constitutional and political crisis. (Source:

Speaking at the press conference held to announce the formation of a FDRA, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda said that the objective of the FDRA was a constitution with federalism, and federalism with identity, and it was not set up against anybody and any institution rather to strive for federalism with identity-based federal provinces. Chairman Prachanda also said that the need for FDRA was felt, as the forces for identity-based federalism agreeing on the progressive state restructuring and on promulgating a constitution through a Constituent Assembly (CA) needed to come together, and it also was necessary for building a political consensus among all political parties; in case of the need, it might even turn into an electoral alliance.

"This historic front is being formed not just for achieving some ordinary and immediate goals but it will work to transform the country into a new Nepal as per the spirit of the various movements launched in the past," said Chairman Prachanda, "this force may work as an electoral alliance or may go for protests jointly in future if need be." Chairman Prachanda explained that his party and he alone could not build up sufficient pressure on the opposition parties such as NC and CPN-UML to make a political consensus of all parties; so, the alliance had been only an alternative to build a national consensus. (Source:

While the opposition coalition of NC and CPN-UML had been harping on about the need for the current government to go even for initiating talks, and the government had been an obstacle to building a political consensus, Chairman Prachanda had made it clear that the immediate objective of the alliance was to create an environment conducive to break the political deadlock, and the only way to break the current political deadlock was to put pressure on the opposition coalition to agree on the identity-based federalism. However, the opposition coalition was not even ready for talking about any kind of identity-based federalism not to mention the constructive dialogue with the opposition coalition as what Chairman Prachanda wanted.

Chairman Prachanda alleged that President of NC Sushil Koirala had been the major obstacle to building a political consensus among the major political parties, and NC President Koirala had been instrumental in the dissolution of the CA on May 27, 2012. "The bill to extend the CA term for three months was registered by NC leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula following a cabinet meeting attended by UCPN-Maoist, NC and CPN-UML ministers," said Chairman Prachanda, "but all of a sudden NC President Sushil Koirala convened a press meet to object to the decision; he [Sushil] was so irresponsible that he left the talks table on May 27 even as all the other party leaders were striving hard till midnight to find common ground on a federal model and the other disputes over constitution writing." At the press conference held at a hotel on August 15, 2012, Chairman Prachanda explained that FDRA had two options: the first option was to work for holding fresh elections to a new CA that would work as a parliament, too; the second option was to reinstate the dissolved CA, promulgate a new constitution and then hold elections to a parliament. (Source:

On Tuesday, August 14, 2012, one day before the announcement of the formation of FDRA, Chairman of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal warned of the formation of FDRA would set the stage of confrontation, as other parties might form another alliance to counter the FDRA. "The country is likely to be pushed into a series of confrontations due to the Maoist move to form the alliance,” said Khanal as warning while addressing a group of cross-party youth leaders assembled at his residence on Tuesday. Youth leaders representing UCPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist, and UDMF had been at the residence of Khanal at Dallu in a bid to urge the top leaders of all major parties to hold ´result-oriented´ negotiations to break the current political deadlock. Youth leaders had been going to one top leader after another urging them to build a political consensus to break the current political deadlock. (Source:

At the same time, the breakaway CPN-Maoist headed by Mohan Vaidhya Kiran was preparing for forming another alliance called ‘Federal Republican Front’. It had published a concept paper on August 14, 2012. The 12-page concept paper proposed a roundtable conference to form an interim government and resolve all contentious issues in a package. The concept paper also stated that the ‘Front’ was for protecting the rights of the people, and accused the NC and CPN-UML of following an anti-people policy. Vice-chairman of CPN-Maoist C.P Gajurel was designated as the head of the ‘Front.’ Vice-chairman Gajurel said that the ‘Front’ would work for drafting a 'people's constitution' discussing all possible means to do so, for starting dialogue on the contested issues and preserving the achievements made by the dissolved Constituent Assembly. (Source:

At the meeting with the media people held at his Lazimpat residence on August 14, 2012, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda accused President of NC Sushil Koirala of disrupting a possible consensus among the parties on drafting a new constitution; NC President Koirala had foiled the environment of consensus these days, and as told by some leaders Koirala was afraid of his (Prachanda’s) increasing popularity within and out of the country following the Prachanda’s decision on turning over all the arms and combatants to the government. “Koirala along with CPN-UML leaders feared that if they were to agree on the 10-province model with mixed names they would never compete with me and therefore they had played a role in dissolving the CA,” said Prachanda. He also expressed his surprise that the leaders of the age-old parties could even play with the future of the country to make their competitor unsuccessful. Prachanda went on saying that Koirala has strong desires to become prime minister but he could not express his aspiration and therefore he was creating problems to the country’s progress. On the proposed FDRA, Chairman Prachanda said that his party was forced to form an alliance after all his efforts on building a consensus went astray. “Those who accept identity-based federalism, republican set up, constitution from CA, either CA election or reinstatement and NC-led election government after constitution could join the alliance,” said Chairman Prachanda. Chairman Prachanda also said that the proposed alliance could hold talks with the fronts formed by the NC, CPN-UML and other parties to build a political consensus and break the current political deadlock as soon as possible. (Source:

Chairman Prachanda told the media persons assembled at his residence on August 14, 2012 that the alliance would move ahead following the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the Interim Constitution and the aspirations of the people’s movement to break the current political and constitutional deadlock even though some leaders said that the alliance was to counter the opposition of the NC and CPN-UML. “The alliance is for consensus and institutionalizing achievement of [political] change,” said Prachanda. When asked how he would assure the people of the alliance would not polarize the political parties, Chairman Prachanda said, “If you do not believe in what I said, you are [free] to think accordingly.” (Source:

Speaking at a media meeting held by Revolutionary Journalists' Association in Tansen, Palpa on August 16, 2012, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda also head of the FDRA said that the alliance would be instrumental in finding an outlet to the current political standoff. "The federal alliance will give a new direction to the country and find an outlet," Chairman Prachanda said, “FDRA give a top priority to ensure identity-based federalism.” He further said, “NC and CPN-UML has never made any sacrifices. The alliance is to make them realize they need to make sacrifices. The NC and CPN-UML should have respect for the voices of majority of the parties in the then Constituent Assembly.” Chairman Prachanda also said that his party was ready to show flexibility so that the NC and the CPN-UML would come to the negotiating table. ( Source:

Speaking to a group of media persons at his Koteshwor residence in Kathmandu on Thursday morning, August 16, 2012, senior leader of CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal said that FDRA led by the UCPN-Maoist set the stage for a political confrontation. "At a time when the political parties need to arrive at a consensus to end the deadlock, the Maoists' move to form alliance will only push the country to a dangerous situation," said Madhav Nepal. He said that the FDRA was formed to sideline the "democratic parties". Madhav Nepal claimed that Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai would be removed from the office through a street movement, as the opposition parties were convinced that Bhattarai would not quit the office until a powerful protest movement would force him out of office, such a movement would be launched soon. (Source:

Chairman of UCPN-Maoist was a coordinator of the FDRA, and former minister and chairman of Loktantrik Samajbadi Dal Prem Bahadur Singh was appointed as a spokesperson for it.

Speaking at the closed-door orientation of the Tamuwan State Committee of the UCPN-Maoist in Pokhara on August 13, 2012, Chairman Prachanda said that his party should take responsibility for the current political situation of the country and should not quit the government; so, his party would not quit the government at any cost and was even ready to face any consequences that might arise from doing so; also vowed to foil all kinds of oppositions strategies (to regression) and protect political gains achieved so far. (Source:

Kaski District Secretary Bakham Singh Gurung said Dahal (Prachanda) told the participants that his party would not bow to the opposition pressure though he would continue making efforts to forge consensus. "The party faces the challenge of managing the country under any circumstances," Gurung quoted Dahal (Prachanda) as saying, "The party cannot quit the government in such a situation." "The keys of the government cannot be handed over either to the Nepali Congress or to the CPN-UML. One cannot get the government by crying or through threat," a participant quoted Dahal (Prachanda) as saying. Dahal directed his cadres to be prepared for the polls saying the Maoist-led government would hold either the Constituent Assembly or the parliamentary elections. (Source:

Speaking at the closed-door training in Pokhara on August 13, 2012, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda said that his decision on quitting the government on the Katuwal case was a mistake and his party would not repeat such a mistake again. Angered by Head of State President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav directly writing a letter to the then Chief of Army Staff Rukmangad Katuwal stating him to stay on in his office, defying the decision of the prime minister to fire Katuwal, the then Prime Minister Prachanda addressing a nation quit the office protesting the unconstitutional action of the Head of State President Dr. Yadav in 2009. Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda together with Vice-chairman and Prime Minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai and another vice-chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Narayankaji Shrestha announced that their party would not quit the government under pressure from the opposition parties. "This time we can’t simply hand over the power to the NC or UML in the name of political consensus," a participant quoted Dahal (Prachanda) as saying. "We have clearly told them [NC, UML leaders] that power can’t be achieved just by whining." He stated that the party was ready to resist the opposition on the streets if the opposition wanted. (Source:

Speaking at the all-party meeting held by CPN-Maoist on Sunday, August 12, 2012, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda floated two major options: either to move ahead following the five-point deal reached among the major political parties or to reach a new deal for forming an election-government to end the current political stalemate; however, his party would not accept the NC-led government for holding an election at any cost. Reaching the five-point agreement, the major parties had agreed to resolve the disputed issues of the constitution writing, promulgate a new constitution, and then form a national consensus government led by the NC to hold elections to a new legislature but it did not happen, as parties could not agree on federalism and the CA got dissolved on May 27, 2012. "One of the solutions is to follow the five-point deal. As per the deal we accept NC leadership in new government. But prior to that we have to resolve the remaining disputes in constitution writing, revive the CA and then promulgate new statute and form new government from the same legitimate body," Dahal (Prachanda) said at a round-table meeting attended by leaders of dozens of political parties, which was convened by newly-formed CPN-Maoist. He said if the parties could agree on this option, then UCPN-Maoist was ready to quit the government and form a consensus government under the NC’s leadership. But he believed that other parties were already drifting away from that option and they wouldn’t be ready for that. Dahal (Prachanda) argued that the new polarization into the pro-federalists and anti-federalists had been further complicating the political scenario. "The NC and CPN-UML themselves are gradually showing interest to go for fresh polls," he said. "But five-point deal can no longer be the basis for forming election-government." He said that if the political parties were to opt for fresh elections, a new deal should be reached among the political parties based on the changed political context and that any of the political parties might claim the leadership of an election-government. "Let me make it clear that we will not accept the NC leadership in the election-government," he said. "Why only the NC and why not others?" Another option floated by Dahal (Prachanda) was to form an election-government headed by an independent personality such as former justice, civil society leader or a leader of a small political party. He reiterated that a leader of any major political force should not lead such a government. (Source:

Speaking at a function held by Nepal Press Union (NPU) Chitwan Chapter in Narayangardh on Sunday, August 12, 2012, President of NC Sushil Koirala strongly reacted to the remarks made by Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda on a NC-led government unacceptable to them for holding fresh elections; President Koirala said that the Prachanda’s remarks proved that the Maoists had not given up their motive for capturing the state by force. "Is it the business of Prachanda [Dahal] alone to form a government?" Koirala asked. "Why is he talking like this?" While addressing a program held by CPN-Maoist in Lalitpur on Saturday, August 11, 2012, Chairman Prachanda had said that the Maoists could not give the government leadership to the NC for holding a new election. "Though we were very angry with the Maoists after their unilateral decision to dissolve the Constituent Assembly, we have started talks with them in the national interest." Asking the Maoists for not indulging in the politics of threats, Koirala asked Dahal (Prachanda) to come to a consensus politics to help address the problems faced by the country. (Source:

On August 16, 2012, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda said that Chairman of CPN-Maoist Mohan Vaidhya also would join the FDRA formed ‘to ensure identity-based federalism and progressive re-structuring of state’. “The alliance formed by the NC and CPN-UML is against federalism. So, Vaidhya has no option but to join our federalists’ alliance,” said Dahal (Prachanda) addressing a Magarat State Committee meeting in Palpa. “The FDRA will be the guiding force now to break the political stalemate,” said Dahal (Prachanda) and added that the constitution could not be promulgated due to the non-cooperation of NC and CPM-UML. (

Speaking at an interaction held by the Reporters Club in Kathmandu on Friday, August 17, 2012, Chairman of CPN-Maoist Mohan Vaidhya accused Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda of forming FDRA to grab the office of prime minister. Chairman Vaidhya said that Prachanda has formed FDRA with an intention of becoming the prime minister rather than bailing the country out of the political imbroglio. UCPN-Maoist in collaboration with other political parties formed FDRA only to hoodwink people, as they already abandoned the federalism with the dissolution of the CA, claimed Vaidhya. (Source:

Speaking at a press conference held in Biratnagar on August 17, 2012, Chairperson of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda suggested the NC forming a new alliance of the like-minded political parties and sitting for talks in order to end the current political stalemate. “As it is easier to hold talks between two groups rather than holding separate talks with 33 different parties, we would welcome if the Congress formed a separate alliance comprising the like-minded parties and sat for talks. This will facilitate an early end to the present political deadlock facing the country,” said Prachanda: Chairman of UCPN-Maoist while he was in Biratnagar to participate in a program on training held by the Kochila State Committee.  “There are three points in our agreement. First, to end the political impasse, second to go for the polls and third to stand united against any possible ploys against us,” Dahal (Prachanda) said, adding, all parties of the alliance share the same stance on the federalism with identity.  “Though the UCPN-M has always held talks with the UML and the NC to end the political deadlock; it is they who have always been apathetic to tread on any common ground with us,” Dahal (Prachanda) said, urging the two parties to sit for talks for the sake of the country’s future. (Source:

At the meeting with leaders of the newly formed FDRA led by Chairman Prachanda held at Shital Niwas on Thursday evening, August 17, 2012, Head of State President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav once again asked Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda to play a special role as the leader of the largest party in breaking the current political and constitutional deadlock. "You are the leader who should and can take on a special responsibility, after the death of Girija Prasad Koirala, to find a solution to the present political deadlock," Prem Bahadur Singh: one of the leaders in the alliance, quoted the president as saying at the meeting. The leaders of the alliance had met the Head of State to inform him about the formation of the alliance and apprise him of the need for such an alliance. "As the leader of the largest party, Prachanda [Dahal] should take more responsibility to find a solution to the present deadlock," said Shrestha quoting the president as saying at the meeting. (Source:

On Friday, August 17, 2012, Head of State President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav rejected two election-related ordinances recommended by the Council of Minisers on July 17, 2012 sending a message that he would not approve ordinances that did not "satisfy" him or lack minimum understanding among parties. While rejecting the ordinances, the president’s office argued that they were not "relevant" in light of the cancellation of the November 22 polls. But the president’s advisors said that the decision should be understood in a broader way. "The decision should be seen as the president will not approve each and every ordinance recommended by the government unless he is satisfied," said Rajendra Dahal: the president’s press advisor. "The decision means that he will reject each and every ordinance recommended by cabinet if they lack common political understanding," said Dahal. While rejecting the ordinances, the president invoked Article 88 (1) of the Interim Constitution. The Article 88 (1) if at any time, except when the session or meeting of the Legislature-Parliament is not in recess, the President is satisfied that it is necessary to take immediate action, the President may, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, promulgate any Ordinance as required without prejudice to the provisions set forth in the Interim Constitution. (Source:

Speaking at a press conference held by the Revolutionary Journalist Association Siraha in Lahan on August 18, 2012, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda said that the current government could go as long as 20 years if there were no agreement among political parties, and no elections were held either. He said that the NC leaders wanted to take the country to the state of 1960 but that was not going to happen. He also said that the federalist alliance was not aimed at anyone but it was for a political outlet. (Source:

Cabinet Minister Hridayesh Tripathy in an interview given to on August 16, 2012 told the following: During the dialogues in the lead up to the May 27 constitution deadline, federalism emerged as the biggest point of difference. This is the reason there was no constitution. Some parties were ready to accept the death of CA, but not to accept federalism. Those in favor of federalism were trying to arrive at a meeting point. At one point, we collected up to 407 signatures of CA members in favor of federalism. But even then, we could not save the CA. What we learned from this was that although the vast majority of the CA members were in favor of federalism, there were other spoilsports who would commit to agreements but back off when it came to implementing them. In this light, there are three main rationales behind the creation of FDRA. One is to guarantee a constitution through Constituent Assembly. Two is to incorporate the identity aspect in the constitution-making process. And three is to work as a catalyst for the creation of national consensus. The link to the interview:

The irony is that the so-called Democratic Party called NC has the feeling of it is above the law and does not care about the rule of law but it cares about its corrupt leaders. For example, demanding to declare their leader Khadka an innocent, the NC cadres had been protesting against the ruling of the Supreme Court of Nepal on convicting the NC leader Khum Bahadur Khadka of corruption and slapping him the penalty of a 18-month jail term and Rs 9.5 million on August 14, 2012. The NC cadres also damaged the police van and private cars in protest against the Supreme Court of Nepal declaring NC leader Khadka a corrupt.

Khum Bahadur Khadka always had had a lucrative ministerial office. When Khadka did not get a “lucrative” ministry in the cabinet led by Girija Prasad Koirala, he moved to the Sher Bahadur Deuba faction in 1999. Then, Khadka set the no-confidence motion against the fourth cabinet led by Girija Prasad Koirala. Khadka also was instrumental in holding the meeting of dissident NC leaders at New Baneshwar in Kathmandu and in splitting the party into NC-Democratic. He held the office of the general secretary of the newly formed NC-Democratic. Khadka quit the office after the Commission on Investigation into Abuse of Authority (CIAA) detained him on October 30, 2002 on the charge of amassing huge amount of money from various projects including the Bakraha River Control Project. CIAA had filed a case against him seeking six-year-prison term for misappropriating Rs 40.59 million by awarding the Bakraha River Control Project worth Rs 114.78 million without competitive bidding. CIAA had concluded that only Rs 3.9 million of the total property worth Rs 27.59 million he owned was earned through legitimate means. Khadka was released on bail of Rs 30 million on January 3, 2003. (

Leaders of NC flayed the Supreme Court of Nepal for its ruling on convicting NC leader Khum Bahadur Khadka of corruption terming it baseless and unreasonable at the Central Working Committee (CWC) meeting held at the party headquarters in Sanepa on Thursday, August 16, 2012. In a press statement released after the CWC meeting, NC has vowed to go for a judicial review of the court’s ‘unfair’ verdict of Khadka guilty of corruption. (Source:

On August 15, 2012, the Supreme Court forwarded the text of the verdict of convicting NC leader Khum Bahadur Khadka of corruption to the Kathmandu District Court for enforcement, as Khadka did not surrender himself voluntarily to the Supreme Court to serve the jail sentence following the Supreme Court’s verdict. “As he did not surrender himself voluntarily, the text of the judgment was forwarded to the district court,” said Hemanta Rawal, assistant spokesperson for the apex court. “Now, the process of the execution will begin as per the law.” Convicting him of graft charge, a division bench of Justices such as Kalyan Shrestha and Baidhyanath Upadhayay yesterday slapped 18-month jail sentence and a fine of Rs 9.4 million on Khadka and ordered the confiscation of wealth amassed through corruption. The verdict has directed the district court to confiscate assets held in the Khadka’s name. “Even though, he has the right to file review petition, he can do so only after the Supreme Court’s verdict is executed,” Rawal added. As per the existing law, Khadka has no option but to face jail sentence, to pay fine, and return the amassed amount. Following the Section 11 of Justice Administration Act, 1991, the Supreme Court of Nepal can review its verdict in two cases: one is if new evidences are available, another is if the court violated its precedent in passing the verdict. (Source:

August 18, 2012

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