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Dr. Baburam Bhattarai Stays On-Part XXIX

Issue 41, October 7, 2012

Siddhi B Ranjitkar

Nepalis have been disenchanted by the inability of the political leaders to promulgate a new constitution and institutionalize the federalism and federal states, and then the political leaders are not going to polls for electing a next CA following the ruling of the Supreme Court of Nepal. This has happened because the so-called leaders rejected by the voters but elected by a few hundred cadres of their respective party as the leaders have held power to dictate what they want and what they do not in the Nepalese politics causing the political uncertainty and ignoring the people’s aspirations for institutionalizing federalism and federal states, as they are not responsible to the people. The current political uncertainty has been the ground for the royalists to speak out and try to make a comeback but it is not going to happen anymore in this country but certainly they are making troubles to the people and the country, as they don’t want elections to a new CA but political chaos in the hope of making a political comeback.

Recently, the royalist party called Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-Nepal) had held a seminar on the current political situation and what is next to do at the Orchid Hotel in Kathmandu. They tried to prove that the elections to a new CA was next to impossible, and the current government had lost the legitimacy to stay on in power but they did not say what to do next clearly indicating that they wanted a political chaos hoping to create a political environment conducive to make for them a comeback. They posed questions how the elections to a new CA could be held giving numerous imaginary legal and constitutional hurdles.

The so-called legal and constitutional experts participated in the seminar held by the RPP-Nepal, did not want to understand the very simple constitutional and legal provisions. They did not like to understand that the government had simply followed the ruling of the Supreme Court of Nepal for announcing the elections to a new CA. So, they created a scenario for the need for delineation of constituencies, and deciding number of representatives, and making provisions for the elections in the Interim Constitution and so on before holding the elections to a new CA. No need for doing such things, as the Supreme Court of Nepal had simply ordered to elect a new CA to stop the unconstitutional political games played by the unelected politicians. So, the government must just replicate the elections held to elect 601 members of the dissolved CA in 2008, and the government could issue an ordinance to update the voters’ list, so no need for amending the Interim Constitution, as updating the voters’ list is a regular business to be done every time the country holds elections. The government does not need to listen to the so-called constitutional or legal experts or even the Election Commission but follow the ruling of the Supreme Court of Nepal to hold elections to a new CA to set the rule of law in the country.

During the four-year term of the last CA, the unelected political leaders played a negative role in the politics. Unelected leaders such as Madhav Nepal, KP Oli of CPN-UML, and Sushil Koirala of NC played a major role in not promulgating a new CA even though they had no people’s mandate. All these three political guys had lost the elections to a CA held in 2008, and had no people’s mandate but they enjoyed a major say in not making a new constitution. Madhav Nepal became the prime minister and had remained in the office for about two-and-a-half years because of the faulty provisions made in the Interim Constitution. He did not do anything to the peace process, and did not make any progress in the integration of the two armies: the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and the Nepal Army (NA) but enjoyed every possible foreign trip at the huge cost to the nation. Now, Sushil Koirala wants to be a next prime minister, and blocking every possible approach to hold the elections to a new CA until his party gets a chance to lead a new government.

In the past four-year term of the CA, Chairman of the CA Subhas Nemwang did nothing to craft a new constitution and then promulgate it. Mr. Nemwang left everything to the leaders of the political parties. The dissolved CA had the people’s mandate to craft a new constitution but Mr. Nemwang as the chairman of the CA did not take anything to the CA for the CA members to discuss. Some CA members had complained bitterly about it but most of the CA members belonging to major political parties remained dormant letting their leaders to do everything concerning the crafting of a new constitution. These poor CA members having people’s mandate to craft a new constitution and promulgate it, did not enjoy discussing anything concerning the crafting of a new constitution. They had elected a Constitutional Committee, and then set up a sub-committee and so on for drafting a new constitution thus surrendering their mandate to the few committee and sub-committee memebrs. Leaders of the four major political parties such as UCPN-Maoist, NC, CPN-UML and UDMF enjoyed doing everything concerning a new constitution but the poor CA members elected for crafting a new constitution did not have anything to do thanks to Mr. Nemwang that did not put anything to discuss in the CA. For example, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist did everything for the 240-elected CA members, first Girija Prasad Koirala after his unfortunate death, then Sushil Koirala did for 114-elected CA members of his party, and similarly the leaders of CPN-UML did for their elected CA members. Consequently, the elected CA members had nothing to do.

The UMDF had wrongly chosen the NC and CPN-UML as partners even though leaders of NC and CPN-UML had declared their negative stand on federalism and federal states. First, the UDMF could not trust the UCPN-Maoist for going along with it even though it had the declared policy on institutionalizing federalism and federal states. Ultimately, the UDMF realized the UCPN-Maoist was the natural political partner for institutionalizing federalism and federal states. Now, UCPN-Maoist and UDMF have been holding on their coalition together to stand against the opposition of the NC and CPN-UML. As long as the UCPN-Maoist and the UDMF go together nobody would be able to remove them from power.

Most unlikely but even in the worst case of the Head of State firing the coalition government of UCPN-Maoist and UDMF, they could easily make a comeback, as they have together sufficient power to make a difference in the Nepalese politics. The UCPN-Maoist and UDMF together represent more than majority of the people. So, they have the majority to rule the country unless and until the opposition could prove it otherwise in elections to be held to a new CA. The UCPN-Maoist and the UDMF could stand firmly against any challenges posed by the opposition and even by the Head of State if he were to do so.

The dissolved CA had ended the exclusive despotic dynastic Shah rule that had been the main cause of the poverty of the Nepalis, and of the condition of Nepalis living almost in slavery for the past 240 years and currently the least developed status of the country. The CA also declared Nepal a republic and then made it a Federal Democratic Republic. However, the CA had to die before promulgating a new constitution because of wrongly giving power to the unelected leaders.

Leaders rejected by the voters but elected by a few hundred party cadres had been the major players in the Nepalese politics. The unelected leaders of the NC and CPN-UML had played a disastrously negative role in not institutionalizing federalism and federalism states, as they believed that they would lose everything to the federal states if they were to agree on federalism and federal states. Unfortunately, NC and CPN-UML had been the political parties of the leaders that had opted for corrupt status quo reign of the past. Some of them were even for reinstating the dead monarchy believing they could run the country as the Shah-Rana had done in the past, and the Panchas in the recent past. That was only wishful thinking of those poor guys that did not have the political vision, and could not see the political development Nepalis had graduated from. However, these regressive guys have been playing a role in continuing the political uncertainty in the country.

The stand taken by President of NC Sushil Koirala on not allowing the government to hold elections to a new CA has emboldened the royalists to raise their head to see whether they can make a comeback. So, former king Gyanendra Shah had made a visit to western districts recently to sound out how much he had the people’s support. He drove on the road escorted by hundreds of motorcyclists facing the protest of the local political cadres against his visit. His father Mahendra rode a horse to different parts of Nepal in 1960s to find out what the people thought about the then elected government of NC. At that time, more than 90% of the Nepalis were uneducated, Mahendra had the NA army in his favor. So, Mahendra could kill democracy and send all political leaders to jail and ban all political parties and affiliated associations, and take everything in his hands to stop the tempo of development started off after the democratic innovation in Nepal in 1951. Now, Mr. Gyanendra Shah could dream of what his father had done in 1960 but it would be a dream only.

Some royalists had started giving undue credit to Prithvi Narayan Shah and one of his descendants Tribhuvan stating they had contributed to building a current Nepal. Certainly, they had contributed to making Nepal today to be one of the least developed countries. When Prithvi Narayan Shah took over all the small kingdoms to make a single Nepal, those small kingdoms had developed economy, culture and so on no less than the current day developed countries at that time but the 240-year rule of the Shah-Rana left Nepal today a least developed country. The oligarchy of Shah-Rana took everything from the people and denied any access to justice, living as humans and doing any other business other than engaging in agriculture to the people. So, Nepalis would not let the dynastic rulers make a comeback. Mr. Gyanendra Shah would be well off living quietly and praying to his ancestral deities rather than trying to make a comeback.

Concerning the unification of small kingdoms into a large Nepal, it had been the process in the past. So, if Prithvi Narayan Shah were not to unite the small kingdoms into a larger Nepal someone would have done it. If the history is any guide, Nepal had gone through the process of disintegration and integration, too in the past before Prithvi Narayan had seen the light of a day. At the twilight of the rule of Licchavi in the ninth and tenth centuries, Nepal disintegrated into smaller principalities but in the process of taking over from the Licchavis in the twelfth century, Mallas integrated the small principalities into a larger Nepal but only to divide the kingdoms among the brothers to be weaken later on.

Concerning the democracy in Nepal, some people give credit to Tribhuvan as if he alone had risked his throne and flew to New Delhi and from there announced a democracy in Nepal. He left Nepal for New Delhi when he became quite sure that Nepalis were driving the Rana prime minister out of the office. So, Tribhuvan was an opportunist nothing more. He did not do anything for a democracy in Nepal. Rather he as the Head of State had signed off the death sentences to those four brave Nepalis such as Sukraraj Shastri, Dharma Bhakta Mathema, Dasharath Chand and Ganga Lal Shrestha that had become martyrs fighting against the Rana oligarchic rule. The Shah rulers had been instrumental in killing a democracy in Nepal and reintroducing the tyrannical monarchical rule again and again.

I had experienced how all development in Nepal came to standstill after Mahendra took over power from the elected government of NC in 1960. All the educational institutions Nepalis had set up suddenly went dry. The government took over the educational institutions and put a strong brake on educating Nepalis, as Mahendra after Chandra Shumsher knew that educating Nepalis meant creating rebels against the despotic rule. Mahendra changed the curriculum that had been for educating Nepalis as independent thinking people to the curriculum that would make the people loyal to the dynastic rule. Socio-economic development had slowed down to the minimum possible.

Mahendra shattered the dream of the Nepalese people and of the four martyrs that had bravely came out against the then Shah-Rana despotic rule to make Nepal respectable and prosperous. The Shah-Rana despotic rulers had denied the fundamental human rights, free speech, and education to the people. Mahendra put back his ancestral Shah rule following the same old trick of playing off one prime minister against another to keep his supremacy above all and to make sure that nobody could come out strongly to challenge him. In order to keep the supremacy of the monarchy, Mahendra made Nepal a contemptible and miserable nation shattering the dreams of Nepalis and the martyrs. Mahendra even built a shadigate: apparently a monument to the martyrs but he put the statue of his father Tribhuvan above the four martyrs mocking the sacrifices made by the four brave martyrs. Recently, the coalition government of UCPN-Maoist and UDMF had decided to remove the statue of Tribhuvan sitting above the statues of four martyrs causing dishonor to the martyrs but the NC and CPN-UML leaders had not let the government enforce the decision defending the statue of one of the despotic Shah rulers that had left Nepal as the least developed country in the world.

After the takeover by Mahendra in 1960, the administration run by the king did everything for the king and his sycophants leaving the common folks high and dry during the 30-year rule of the Panchayat government introduced by Mahendra in 1962. During the 30 years of the Panchayat rule, Nepalis had no rights to speak out their grievances or other problems expect for singing the hymns in praise of the king.

In 1990 Nepalis rose up against the Panchayat rule under the leadership of Supreme Leader Ganeshman Singh often dubbed as the iron man and then the father of democracy, and tore down the Panchayat rule and reinstated the multi-party system. When the then king Birendra offered him to takeover as a prime minister, Supreme Leader Ganeshman said, “From now on, not the king but the people select a new prime minister.” Pointing at the then NC leader Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Supreme Leader Ganeshman said, “He will be the next prime minister.” Thus, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai became the interim prime minister in 1990.

Supreme Leader Ganeshman did not take over the power believing that he had completed the mission in his life putting a democracy back in Nepal and further political, and socio-economic development simply would follow. He gave everything he had in his life to the cause of a democracy in Nepal, and sacrificed everything for the sake of the country to materialize the dreams of the martyrs that had sacrificed lives and sowed the seeds of uprising of the people against the despotic rulers.

Unfortunately, after the reinstatement of a democracy in Nepal in 1990, the NC leaders that took over the power failed to materialize not only the dream of Supreme Leader Ganeshman but also of the martyrs that had sacrificed their lives for a democracy and the rule of law. The new NC rulers including Girija Prasad Koirala had institutionalized the corruption rather than the democratic institutions weakening a democracy in Nepal again. These NC leaders’ performances had disappointed so much to Supreme Leader Ganeshman that ultimately he died with the frustration of not meeting the wishes of the martyrs and his, too.

Then, the palace massacre killed all the members of the family of king Birendra on June 1, 2001. That massacre was effectively a coup, as the democratically elected Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala could not only save the lives of the royal family members but also even could not form a commission on investigation into the massacre of the royalties. Prime Minister Koirala surrendered all the executive power to the palace. Thus, the democracy in Nepal weakened so much due to the corruption the NC leaders had institutionalized. It was one way or another repetition of the history of the coup Mahendra had made in 1960, as the then NC leaders also had institutionalized corruption provoking the people’s wrath and making Mahendra able to overthrow the NC government elected by the overwhelming majority votes.

After the palace massacre, the NC leaders forced Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to quit the office to cover up the weakness of the NC leader. The second-generation leader Sher Bahadur Deuba took over the power from Girija Prasad Koirala. He also fell in the trap of the trick of the despotic Shah ruler playing off one leader against another. After the death of his brother Birendra, Gyanendra took the power and successfully played off one leader after another. Consequently, Prime Minister Deuba dissolved the parliament and announced a date for holding elections to a new parliament without consulting the party bosses but allegedly at the instigation of Gyanendra. In the course of the political maneuvers by Gyanendra, Prime Minister Deuba ultimately had remained in a jail until the people’s movement in 2006 released him.

Now, the NC leaders are trying to repeat the history again not going to the polls for electing a new CA but hoping that the Head of State would take a drastic action and turn over the power to the NC leaders. Head of State Dr. Ram Baran Yadav has been knowingly or unknowingly involving more and more in the politics coming out of his politically neutral but highly venerable position of the head of state. He has called the meeting of the leaders of all political parties and asked them what, how and when he should do if the political leaders were not to build a political consensus.

Head of State Dr. Ram Baran Yadav would be better off to remain as a neutral head of state and cooperate with the prime minister on holding elections to a new CA. Dr. Yadav should know that the government announced the elections to a new CA following the ruling of the Supreme Court of Nepal. So, the elections will be the repetition of the elections to a CA held in 2008; no need for delineation of constitution and so on; only updating of the voter’s list is required. The Election Commission can update the voters’ list after the Head of State issues a voters’ list ordinance on the recommendation of the prime minister to do so. Then, the political parties can show their strength and weakness in the elections. That is the only way to resolve the current political uncertainty.

In case, the Head of State were to follow the advice of the NC and CPN-UML leaders and toppled the current government, then the country would fall into the political turbulence in which the head of state unfortunately would swirl down. The leaders of NC, and CPN-UML including Kamal Thapa: the leader of RPP-Nepal riding the dead horse would disappear in the history.

The coalition of UCPN-Maoist and UDMF represent the more than majority of the Nepalese people. This coalition might take over the power in any circumstance and institutionalized the federalism and federal states, and a democracy and the rule of law the common folks have aspired for since 1950s but the so-called political leaders had denied them so far.

People of the Kailali district headquarters: Dhangadi protested against the statement made by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Minister Bijay Kumar Gacchedar on Wednesday, October 3, 2012 that an undivided Far-West region was not acceptable to his party for restructuring federal states. The locals of Kailali are for a single undivided Far-West state. The irate protestors chanted slogans against the home minister and even attempted to vandalize the office of his party: MPRF-Loktantrik. (Source:

Speaking to reporters in Gulmi on Wednesday, October 3, 2012, politburo member of CPN-UML Pradip Gyawali has said that the President does not have any right to appoint or unseat the Prime Minister, as the constitution has not given any rights to the president to form a government. However, he said that the President could put pressure on the parties to forge a consensus and to bring normalcy in the country apart from that he could not step forward to appoint or remove the Prime Minister. (Source: ‘THT ONLINE’)

Addressing the Nepal Press Union gathering in Kathmandu on September 30, 2012, senior leader of NC Sher Bahadur Deuba said that the revival of the CA was necessary even to hold new elections to get fresh mandate of the people; the constitution needed to be amended, and for that matter the CA needed to be revived. “If we hold new elections without amending the constitution, the court might refuse to acknowledge polls as has happened in Egypt,” Deuba added. (Source:

During the meeting of the top political leaders held at the Shital Niwas: the President's Office on Sunday, September 30, 2012, Head of State President Dr Ram Baran Yadav urged top leaders of various political parties to forge a political consensus to avoid the looming political and constitutional crisis facing the country. Coming out of the meeting, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda said that the President was concerned very much about the prolonged political transitional period and said that the time was running out fast for the parties to build a national consensus government to end the crisis. Similarly, CPN-UML leader and former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal said that President Yadav warned the parties of having "one last opportunity" to build a political consensus and give a way to the political crisis facing the country. (Source: Reminding the parties of their commitment to fresh elections and political consensus, President Dr Yadav said the parties should come up with a proposal to make it clear what he should do, how and when if a consensus could not be built up, the Office of the President said in a statement. (Source: THT ONLINE)

October 6, 2012

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