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Oil-led Government-38

Issue June 2016

Birth Of A New Party

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


A new party was born at the Dasrath Stadium on June 12, 2016. It is called a “Naya Shakti”. The midwife was Dr Baburam Bhattarai. The party’s main objective is development to build on the foundation of the constitution. It might grow as an alternative party if Dr Bhattarai were to work without his personal ambition, as Nepal needed an alternative to all those proven crooked political parties. “Naya shakti” means a new force has the political agenda of changing the constitution through the two-thirds majority. It might be the offshoot of the Maoist party but it has shed all the shackles of Maoists and even the Marxism. It has no words for the peasants and workers. So, it might be a unique party if it were to reach the grassroots people and convince them of its need and its program on development. It clearly believes that the political revolution is complete after the death of the monarchy that stood as the strong barrier to the people’s development.


After eight months from the day of quitting the Maoist party, former prime minister also the second-in-command in the UCPN-Maoist (currently CPN-Maoist-Center) Dr Baburam Bhattarai declared the birth of a new party in Kathmandu on June 12, 2016 in presence of the Nepalese political leaders such as She Bahadur Deuba and KP Oli, and of the foreign diplomats and well wishers. Prachanda’s trusty Krishna Bahadur Mahara attended the mass rally for listening the declaration of a new party.


A large number of cadres wearing a red baseball cap with a white star at the center assembled at the Dasrath Stadium for the mass rally and for listening the declaration of the sprouting of a new party. As usual, the traffic and commuters became the victims of the political marchers and then the mass rally. This new party that has born promising the overall development of the country has even at the birth obstructed the regular traffic and commuters.


The new party went into the media in the western styled ads. Almost all the private newspapers except for the State-run newspapers such as ‘Gorkhapatra’ and ‘The Rising Nepal’ carried the photo of Dr Baburam Bhattarai with the new party flag behind him on the front page. Some media have estimated the cost of the ads on the private newspaper in millions of NPR (Nepalese rupees).


Where does the money has come from, the usual question has been among the reporters. Answer to this question, the new party has is it has collected more than NPR 10 millions from more than 100,000 members at the rate of NPR 105 per person as the party membership fees. That’s not all; it has also collected some millions from other means not easily understandable. That has been the one-day expenditure. What would be expenditure for other activities and activities for the coming days? The questions are to answer, yet.


The flag of the new party is a white star at the center of the red background. What does it mean, the party has to declare it, yet. The party has born without the shackles of the Marxism. It has not mentioned workers or peasants clearly stating Dr Baburam Bhattarai has shed the political ideology of Marxism and Maoism. He now believes in development and peaceful process of amending the constitution through winning the two-thirds majority to correct some flaws such as the parliamentary system that has failed in delivering anything to the people to state in the harsh language. It is only half true; the parliamentary system has done a lot including the rampant corruption in the politics and development. So, the main objective of the party is to change current system of indirectly electing the prime minister or the president to the directly elected one.


The new party stands for the democracy, republic, and inclusive development. However, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai has not forgotten the word ‘socialism.’ What does it mean in the new context of the political development, he has not said. Democracy, republic and development are the main mantra of this new party. The party has broadened its political field and it would accommodate the people that have been deluded by the old political parties including the Maoists’ parties.


This new party could be an alternative party for most of the people looking for a comparatively sincere and straightforward party in the midst of so many irresponsible political parties that have done nothing but betrayed the people for their own political and financial gains. Will it be able to earn the people’s mandate, as did the Maoists in 2008?


In 2008 when the Maoists joined the mainstream politics, Nepalese voters overwhelmingly voted for them but they could not properly use the people’s mandate for the betterment of the political system, and for the improvement of the downtrodden people. They did not read the political situation properly and did not try to understand the fluid political situation. They believed that they could have the total political victory through the elections, as they believed that the voters were still for them to vote. The result has been that the Maoists have simply joined the circle of the dirty politicians, the Nepalese people thought. So, the voters put the Maoists in the third place.


However, the Maoists and other political parties without some disgruntled Madheshi leaders have successfully launched the most inclusive and enhanced constitution in the world. It has made the unique provision for putting women on one of the top positions of the president and vice-president. If the president is the woman, the vice-president will be the man and vice-versa, according to the constitution. Probably, none of the constitution the world has such provision. So, the political circle might not be as dirty as the common folks used to think, as the constitution has been as superior as possible.


The new party “Naya Shakti” must be for safeguarding the new constitution with such sophisticated provisions from the vultures of the Madheshi leaders agitating for minor things that could be resolved through the elections, and some of them are demanding the rewriting of the constitution which is not constitutional, and which is not possible without changing the regime, and from the anti-federalists, and the Hindu fundamentalists that had been propped up by the southern neighbors. To meet the demands of the protesting Madheshi leaders, the new-party leaders have foreseen the possibility of meeting their demands before the situation goes too far, and becomes uncontrollable.


The success of the new party depends on what Dr Baburam Bhattarai has been for. Whether he wants to pass the new political examination he has said he has taken for standing first among the most talented students as he did it in the school, and thereafter, too or whether he wants to sincerely serve the people. He has the ability for doing the both, as he had demonstrated what he could do as the prime minister widening the narrow streets of Kathmandu and other urban centers forcing the successive prime ministers to continue the job he had started off. His academic record has been well known and anybody could check it if s/he wants. He has said that he is taking the new political examination. It might be the final examination in his lifetime.


If Dr Bhattarai is taking the political examination only to stood first then it will be catastrophe for him and for his party, too. Surely, he could not take over the party rein from Prachanda. Unfortunately for Dr Bhattarai, Prachanda has been politically smarter than academically very smart Dr Bhattarai. Now, the new party has made Dr Bhattarai the first man in the party. If his ambition is to end there then he will be one of the many political leaders that have opted to be a one-person-party leader. Dr Bhattarai will surely betray so many of his colleagues that have supported him unconditionally.


Dr Baburam Bhattarai must have left the Maoists’ party as some of his colleagues left believing the Maoists have simply joined the club or the circle of the political liars. They remained Maoists, and some of them even rejoined the Maoists’ party: CPN-Maoist-Center. The chance of Dr Bhattarai joining the Maoists is very slim even though the spokeswoman for CPN-Maoist-Center Phampha Bhusal claimed that Bhattarai, Baidhya, and Biplav (three Bs) would join the CPN-Maoist-Center. She might be having a pipe dream or she might have thought that Baidhya, and Biplav might join because they are still faithful to Maoism but they stuck to the original path to reach their ideological destination. Clearly, Dr Bhattarai has shed the Maoism and even Marxism, and he has taken a new long and maybe even arduous track to achieve the ultimate goal of inclusive development with the republican setup and democracy as the foundation.


Recently, Chairman of CPN-Maoist-Center Prachanda has conceded that he fell into the snare of the political liars. Now, he wants to be among the people. Really, he has been going round and round the political circle of the liars as he stated. He is still in the circle even though he has said that he will go to the people, as his party people have been making preparation for taking over the power from KP Oli following the gentlemanly understanding reached with Prime Minister Oli.


Prachanda has to say he is going to the people, as he needs to send the newly welcomed colleagues that have temporarily left him, and recently rejoined him to reap the benefit of the party that might be in the power at any time. Those old friends becoming the new comers have to go to the people to reorganize the party in the new form from the splinters once the mighty Maoist party had broken into or simply they needed to atone for the sin they had left the mother party.


Every student of politics knows that changing the current government no matter for what will be a terrible mistake and will be the political disaster for the country, probably for the political leaders, too. The urgent need is to support the current government firmly to hold the elections for the provincial assemblies and the federal parliament thus enforcing the constitution. This is what the common folk on the streets want. Probably, Dr Bhattarai’s new party also is for it otherwise he would have been one of the actors of the political intrigue.


If Prachanda, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Madhav Nepal, and Jahlanath Khanal are not the political vultures, and don’t want to feed on the political carcass, they need to prop up Prime Minister KP Oli for enforcing the new constitution. They have thousands of words for lashing out at Oli but not a single word for supporting him to work together to enforce the most advanced constitution in the world.


Sher Bahadur Deuba as the president of NC: currently, one of the largest political party in the parliament sometimes has claimed that his party has been instrumental to adopt the new constitution so enforcing the constitution is the duty of his party, too but he has kept those things in the words only. Probably, he wants to do so only after taking over from Oli. He could do so if he wants. He needs to prove his ability to do so. He needs to convince Oli, Prachanda and Madheshi leaders to follow him if he surely is the super star of the largest party. Does he have such ability? He needs to demonstrate it. It is not as easy as buying a few thousands votes to win the presidency of his party.


The new party has no words for the peasants and workers, indicating Dr Bhattarai has gone beyond the thinking of peasants and workers as the power base. So, he has not mentioned them specifically. He must have thought that his party needs to encompass all the people not only the certain class of the people but also the entire population. Development is for all. So, everybody will catch it.


Dr Bhattarai must have thought that the monarchy has gone forever. So, political movement has been the off-season business. No need to spend the energy and other resources on the political movement. Now, the need is for the economic evolution that has been so badly neglected. That is absolutely right.


In fact, while speaking at the political rally of his party in Kathmandu on June 12, 2016, Dr Bhattarai has drawn up the time line for taking Nepal progressively to the various development stages ultimately taking nearer to the advanced stage. Will it be as drawing the plan on harnessing 40,000MW hydropower from the rivers he had foreseen during his administration or even less remains to be seen? So, everybody is watching what would be the performances of Dr Bhattarai: whether he will come out as a political icon or as any one of the leaders of one-person political parties.


What the new party ‘Naya Shakti’ can do in the political circle of liars. Liars are what Chairman of CPN-Maoist-Center Prachanda has put the label on the politicians probably except for himself. The new party needs to prop up Oli and let him enforce the constitution if it believes in the new constitution. How this infant party can do when it has not even able to stand up not to mention walk. It has not seen the parliament even though some of the central members are former lawmakers. That’s not enough; the party has to be in the parliament to have its voices among the liar (again quoting Prachanda) politicians following the parliamentary system. Alternatively, the new party can go to the people and prepare the grassroots-level people to be ready for the worst possible political happenings when the political liars would fight among themselves as wolfs and kill each other politically.


June 13, 2016

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