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“Must be understanding between the NC and us”

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012
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From the Nepali Press, Rama Parajuli in BBC Nepali Service, 10 December

Rama Parajuli: Can you deliver a solution to the current deadlock by day after tomorrow?

Pushpa Kamal Dahal: Talks are going on. We decided that we should meet informally because at all party meets, we tend to take strong positions. Once we get consensus through these personal consultations, we will sit together once again.

Everybody has their hopes pinned on you, but you keep changing your words, so how will it work?

All my words have been twisted in the media. My only concern is to eke out alternatives to the situation. And the ones who say I change my position when I’m trying to come up with various alternatives, do not understand at all what I’m doing.

If you think things will take care of themselves once you become prime minister, are you ready for it?

I don’t think I would lose the influence that I have towards contributing to consensus if I was doing the PM’s job, but I want to avoid talking about these imaginary scenarios. Still, you and a lot of friends have been asking, and if through dialogue I find that it will work, I will not back down from taking responsibility.

As long as the current scenario prevails, Baburam Bhattarai gets all the credit for the good work done by the government, while you get rapped for its bad decisions. Many people say that as long as this government continues, it will be bad for Prachanda’s reputation.

Whoever says that is true. And I agree to your statement that the longer this crisis continues, I will be affected the most because I lead the biggest party, we are an important stakeholder in the peace process, and I represent and lead all the slogans of progress that were made during the 2006 uprising. All criticisms as well as people’s hopes have arrived at one point, which is a challenge but nonetheless is of real pride to me. Still, I feel that all opposition forces, traditional forces, status-quoists, and old power-centres have tried to embarrass me at all costs, and I cannot give any guarantee. People tell me that it is up to me, and that it is in my hands, but they never support me when I really try to make things happen.

So ultimately if the solutions to all problems lie with you, then you must also give some ways out.

I agree and our party has been reiterating that all alternatives have to be discussed. We have been talking to all the parties, the Madhes parties, and even to the CPN-M. We have to agree to many things, and must compromise. In the next few days, there has to be an understanding between the NC, UML, and us, and mainly between the NC and us. It was close discussions between Girija Prasad Koirala and I that brought an understanding through the 12-point agreement. The crisis cannot be solved without an understanding between the NC and us.

By agreement, do you mean a mixed system of governance?
No, no, not only that. That could be one alternative, but there could be others as well. In any case, there has to be an understanding between the NC and us. I told the leaders of the UML and NC just now not to take any decisions in excitement, because we must provide a solution.

One last question: your party has split and your militia has been integrated. Are you scared and trying to avoid the elections?
That is totally untrue. Yes, the party has split, our soldiers have been integrated, and the crisis grows. But ask every member of our rank and file, and they will tell you how confident they are. I made calculations of all 75 districts and think we are not weak at all. In fact, we deeply suspect that it is parties like the NC and UML who want to lead the government and postpone polls in order to weaken us.

But these are all cross-accusationof various parties. Are you ready to hold elections in April 2013?
Yes, we are fully ready and committed to polls in 2013.

Click here to listen to the full interview.

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