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Sushil-led Government-32

October 2014

Nepal: Benefits Of Blocking Parliamentary Business

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Blocking Parliamentary business has resulted into the five-point agreement among the political parties. The parliament had been inert for about two months. The budget for the fiscal year 2014/15 has been sitting in the parliament, too for two months. However, the immediate beneficiaries of the five-point agreement would be the Maoist and the Madheshi cadres if the government were to enforce it. The next beneficiaries would be surely the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi and ethnic political parties, and small political parties. However, if we were to have a new constitution then everybody would be beneficiary of the agreement.


The so-called two-thirds majority government had signed off the five-point agreement on October 8, 2014 agreeing to set up a High Level Political Committee (HLPC) among other things. The opposition held a street procession from Maitighar to Nayabaneswore and held a rally there in Kathmandu on Friday, October 10, 2014 demanding the identity-based federal states and decentralized federalism. The apparently mighty government has been vulnerable to the opposition in the current political environment despite the two-thirds majority in the parliament. The then opposition NC and CPN-UML had done the same thing when the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshis were in the two-thirds majority. The government could not use the two-thirds majority to force the opposition to abide by the majority votes. They wanted to build a consensus on all the matters concerning a new constitution.


United Republican Front (URF) led by the UCPN-Maoist had blocked the parliamentary businesses for about two months demanding the formation of HLPC. The ruling political parties such as NC and CPN-UML dragged their feet for two months disregarding the political deadlock brought by the disruption of the parliamentary session. The ruling political parties had not shown their concern for the adverse effects of the non-functioning of the parliament on the political, economical and social activities of the common folks.


The question is why the ruling parties have waited for so long to meet the demands of the URF, and open the parliament for regular businesses. Prime Minster Sushil Koirala has the traits of ‘wait and see’ until the situation deteriorates to the condition of ultimate damage control is required. He had waited for two weeks to meet the demands of the CPN-UML for the home portfolio, and then complete the formation of a new cabinet in October last year. At the end of day, the loser is Sushil Koirala himself.


The Maoists and the Madheshis have been successful to extract major benefits from the five-point agreement. Their blocking of the parliament and the street protests have brought them many benefits that could build their political base further. For example, they could go back to their cadres and say, “See, what we have got for you; two hundred thousands rupees to each of the families of the dead and disappeared cadres during the people’s war that had last for 10 years until 2006, and the Madheshi movement in 2008; we have forced the government to register the land we have given to you at the time of the people’s war at the State office at two percent registration tax.”


Most of the grassroots level cadres have alienated from the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshis, as the UCPN-Maoist had advocated for the return of the land the Maoists had grabbed during the civil war denying any benefits to their cadres; and the Madehshi leaders engaged in power struggle doing nothing for the benefits to their cadres. Both the Maoist and the Madheshi cadres had spilled a lot of blood for the republican setup in Nepal. However, the families of the victims of the civil war, and the Madheshi movement had not been compensated for the loss of their loved ones. That was one of the reasons why the Maoists and the Madheshis had to concede defeat in the elections to the constituent assembly on November 19, 2013.


Now, the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshis could go back to their cadres and supporters saying, “Look, we have brought at least Rs 200,000 to the families of each of the dead Maoists and the Madheshis during the people’s war and the Madheshi movement. One of the points of the five-point agreement is “the Government of Nepal will provide Rs 200,000 in two installments to the families of those killed and missing during the armed-conflict and the people's movement in the current Fiscal Year.”


UCPN-Maoist would benefit even more from another point of the five-point agreement. Another point is “the government must officially recognize the land deals made during the armed-conflict in five districts such as Rukum, Rolpa, Jajarkot, Salyan and Pyuthan collecting only 2% land registration tax on such land.”


The Maoists had set up a revolutionary government in those five districts in the late 1990s later on extending to other districts when they gradually grew. The Maoists had recruited the people of the five districts to the people’s liberation army of the then CPN-Maoist to fight against the State police and the army. The Maoists promised the liberation army fighters the land for cultivation. The Maoists grabbed the public and private land and distributed it to the fighters. The revolutionary government of the Maoists gave them the landownership certificates, too. Now, the UCPN-Maoist forced the government to make those land distribution official in those five districts.


When the UCPN-Maoist decided that the land grabbed and distributed during the people’s war should be returned, then most of the Maoist cadres were alienated from the UCPN-Maoist. Those cadres fearing to lose their hard-earned land took the side of the CPN-Maoist when it broke away from the UCPN-Maoist. The CPN-Maoist had been not only for not returning the land but also for grabbing the new land from the large landowners.


CPN-Maoist did not participate in the elections stating it did not believe in a constituent assembly crafting a new constitution rather it wanted to have a round-table conference of all political parties. Consequently, it has remained in isolation despite its claim for having three dozens of political parties supporting it. The Maoist cadres alienated by the land-return policy of the UCPN-Maoist turned to the CPN-Maoist and joined in the campaign to defeat the UCPN-Maoist in the elections. The CPN-Maoist cadres worked hard against the UCPN-Maoist during the elections to a new constituent assembly in November and defeated it badly in the elections.


Now, the Maoist cadres in those five districts would strongly support the UCPN-Maoist, as they would have their land registered at the State land registration office. The government would accept the official status of the land distributed by the then Maoist rebel government. The cadres would understand that the UCPN-Maoist could do something useful to them if it were really willing to do. The CPN-Maoist remaining aloof from the mainstream politics could do nothing in favor of the Maoist cadres. So, most of the Maoists would go back to join the mother party UCPN-Maoist.


About 80,000 people would benefit from Rs 200,000 to be paid to each of the families of those killed and enforced disappearance during thee people’s war. The estimated people killed and disappeared varied from 13,000 to 19,000 during the people’s war. If we were to take the average of these two figures, the number of killed and disappeared would be 16,000. The number of the family members of the 16,000 people at the rate of five people a family would be 80,000. Thus, a large number of people would benefit from one of the points of the five-point agreement. They also surely believe that the Maoists could do something for them for the loss of their loved ones during the unfortunate people’s war. These people would go back to support the UCPN-Maoist.


Concerning the federalism and federal states, the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshis have to fight against the NC, CPN-UML and other small political parties on the HLPC. This time, the HLPC has been a large one. It has the representation of small political parties of the left and the right, too. One of the five points agreement says, “Three each of NC, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist will be appointed to the political committee, three members of the Tarai-Madhesh parties, one each of RPP and CPN-ML, and one of the remaining parties.” So, the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi representatives have to coolly convince other members of the HLPC of the need for having the decentralized federalism and the identity-based federal states. They should use the persuasion as the tool for making federal states and federalism a reality rather than going head-on confrontation.


The Maoists and the Madheshis might need to give something to have other things in their favor. So, the federalism and federal states might not be fully achieved as the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshis wanted. HLPC has certainly the man called KP Oli that has publicly said that he could not imagine the identity-based federal states. KP Oli is currently the chairman of CPN-UML. HLPC also has the leaders of NC that has been heavily biased against federal states, and decentralized federalism.


Chairman of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal Kamal Thapa said that he would like to work with other like-minded members of the parliament for making Nepal a Hindu state. His party has no representatives on the current HLPC. It might be because of his bias in favor of the Hindu state. However, even the NC has the thirty-two parliamentarians that have stood for a Hindu state. NC has currently almost 200 members of parliament. So about 16% of the NC parliamentarians supported the Hindu state disregarding the policy of the NC, and the need for the country to be secular. Imposing Hinduism in the multi-religious nation would provoke the people believing in the faiths other than the Hinduism to fight for secularism. Political leaders and parliamentarians advocating for the Hinduism need to understand this reality.


NC and CPN-UML had signed off a four-point agreement with UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi political parties in December 2013. One of the four points was the setting up a HLPC to oversee the peace process and crafting of a new constitution. However, ruling NC and CPN-UML partners ignored the agreement provoking the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi political parties into blocking the parliament for two months, and even leading them to launch the street protests. At the end of the day, both the NC and CPN-UML signed off a five-point agreement giving additional benefits to the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi political parties.


On October 1, 2014, Acting Prime Minister Bamdev Gautam said that nobody had rights to block the parliament rather everybody should work on resolving the problems the country has been facing; and the government would clear of the obstruction to the parliamentary businesses at any cost. Mr. Gautam might be right but he failed to say that his coalition partner NC and his own party did the same thing when the Maoists and the Madheshis were in the two-thirds majority. He also believed that the coalition partners had the rights not to enforce the four-point agreement they had reached with the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi parties. If the political parties were to go on signing off the agreements with any party and then never enforcing them, and if they were to judge right or wrong by their position in the government then chaos would prevail in the country.


UCPN-Maoist and Madheshi parties had held the Parliament for the ransom of setting up a HLPC since August 29, 2014. Ultimately, the NC and CPN-UML bowed down to the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshis parties and signed off another five-point agreement on October 8, 2014. The five-point agreement posted on the is annexed to this article.


Blood spilling had been the regular political business of the Shah-Rana administration for the two-and-a-half centuries. For example, the then Shah king did not dare to fire Prime Minister Mathabar Singh but let someone killed him at the palace at night; similarly, they put Bhimsen Thapa: one of the powerful prime ministers of that time in jail and humiliated him so much that he took his own life with a broken glass. Then, the Shah king staged a cold-blooded massacre popularly known as ‘kot parva’ of the royals at the palace killing hundreds of royals assembled without arms in the mid nineteen century. After this massacre the Shah king lost the power to another powerful and equally morally poor man called Jung Bahadur Rana. Then the second massacre of the royals at the palace on June 1, 2001 ended the monarchy in 2008.


Another moral hazard of the politicians had been that they frequently backtracked on the agreements they had reached. For example, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda complained that building a consensus on the disputed issues of a new constitution had been a difficult task, as ruling parties backtracked on the agreements reached at the erstwhile Constituent Assembly (CA). Talking to the media persons at his Lazimpat residence on October 14, 2014, Chairman Prachanda said that the NC was flexible about the constitution-making process, but the CPN-UML had disregarded the past agreements. CPN-UML had been lobbying for the direct electoral system of 1991 (2048 BS) dishonoring the agreement reached on adopting proportional and inclusive principles in the electoral system (“Ruling parties are backtracking from agreements”,, October 14, 2014).


Leaders of the same level also of the same party often contradicted each other in the public speaking making their political ethics questionable. On October 14, 2014, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said in Kathmandu that a new constitution would be promulgated in the third week of January 2015 following a political consensus (“PM hopeful of timely constitution through consensus”,, October 14, 2014). On the same day, former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba in Janakpurdham said that a new constitution would not be promulgated as scheduled even though it would be promulgated following a consensus of the Maoists and the Madheshis (“Constitution unlikely in slated time”,, October 14, 2014). Both Koirala and Deuba are the NC leaders of the same status.


Speaking at the mass rally held by the 22-party alliance at the Khulamanch in Kathmandu on Friday, October 17, 2014, Chairman of UCPN-Maoist Prachanda has accused NC and CPN-UML of betraying him. "Integrate with Nepal Army, hand over your weapons and we will draft a constitution the way you want it within seven days,' our NC and CPN-UML friends said and I took their word and we gave up our arms and integrated our troops with Nepal Army. But later they betrayed me," said Dahal (Prachanda) at the mass rally. He said that he had learned from his mistakes and then he knew NC and CPN-UML much better. "Without pressure, a constitution in the people's interest will not be drafted." He also said that NC and CPN-UML were for using their two-thirds majority to remove provisions for 'proportional' and 'inclusive' from the constitution. "I have been told that the Draft Committee has secretly struck out the word inclusive. Just tell me how serious an issue this is." (“They betrayed me: Puspa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda),” October 17, 2014). Obviously, these two political parties have been the relics of the Shah-Rana dynastic rule.


The parliament passed the budget for the fiscal year 2014/15 on October 19, 2014. At the special session of the parliament hled on July 13, 2014, Finance Minister Dr Ram Saran Mahat had presented the budget of Rs 620 billion. The passing of the budget was delayed following the holding of the parliament by the opposition parties for the ransom of setting up a HLPC.





The Five-Point Agreement (posted on


To create an environment of political consensus and understanding, the following agreements were made between three major political parties:


To assist in completing the remaining tasks of the peace process and in developing an understanding among the political parties, a political committee will be formed incorporating following points:


Three each of NC, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist will be appointed to the political committee, three members of the Tarai-Madhesh parties, one each of RPP and CPN-ML, and one of the remaining parties.


Chairman of UCPN-Maoist would take the office of the coordinator of the committee for the first two months. Then, other political parties would hold the office in rotation.


The decisions of the committee would be on a consensus.


The Government of Nepal will provide Rs 200,000 in two installments to the families of those killed and missing during the armed-conflict and the people's movement in the current Fiscal Year.


The government must officially recognized the land deals made during the armed-conflict in five districts such as Rukum, Rolpa, Jajarkot, Salyan and Pyuthan collecting only 2% revenue on such land registrations.


To collect tax on vehicles of Indian number plate following the agreement made in the last Fiscal Year.


Urge Nepal Government to implement the tasks mentioned in the 2nd, 3rd and 4th point. (“Obstructed Parliament functions after five-point agreement between big-three”,


October 21, 2014

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