Nepal Today

Sunday, July 21, 2013



Kathmandu, 22 July Gold price Monday gained Rs.1,000 per tola.
The precious metal was trading for Rs. 52,200 per tola.


Kathmandu, 22 July: Nepse gained 1.91 points as soon as the share market
opened for trading Monday on the second day of five-day weekly trading.
Nepse index reached 537.63 points with the gain in share prices of commercial banks and insurance companies.
Commercial bank shares gained 3,2 and insurance companies 4,32
Points respectively.


Kathmandu, 22 July: Women thronged Shiva temples Monday and
worshipped the Lord .
Women offer special ptayers and puja ar Shiva temples every
Mondy in Sharawan wearing green bangles.


Kathmandu, 22 July:: CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidhya has reiterated that the government should make efforts at accommodating all the political parties in the election to the Constituent Assembly through dialogue, RSS reports from Hetauda..

He also warned that his party would strongly retaliate if the government and the four political parties forcibly held the election.

Speaking in a news conference organised by Revolutionary Journalists Federation, Makawanpur chapter here today, Baidhya said that it was inevitable to work together with the nationalist and patriotic forces including the former king for keeping intact the national sovereignty and indivisibility.

"Although we have talked of collaborating with the former king for protecting the national autonomy and to foil the growing foreign meddling in the country's affairs, the CPN-Maoist will not compromise on the republic, secularism and federalism," the CPN-Maoist Chairman said.

He expressed the conviction that the parties opposing the CA election including his own party would participate in the election if an all-party national unity government was formed through a roundtable conference as suggested by his party and the CA election was held by that government.


The Nepali Congress (NC) central working committee member and former Minister for Culture and Parliamentary Affairs Minendra Rijal is certain that the NC will do better in the second Constituent Assembly elections scheduled for November 19. Speaking to the Post’s Kamal Raj Sigdel and Darshan Karki he said that the Congress had learnt its lessons from the previous election and that the people were willing to give the party a second chance. He also talked about the NC’s preparations for elections and its stance on federalism.
Is the Nepali Congress ready for elections?
Yes, we are. More so than any other political party. Central committee members deputed to all 75 districts have overseen the preparations for elections and have already done a lot of work to mobilise the party. We are getting reports from the ground that people are positively disposed to the NC. We are very confident that we will do much better than the last time.
But the NC seems to be going for elections at a time when its house is not in order.
I do not agree. The last time we lost was not because our house was not in order. We had split and united before the elections. Though we were a united force under Girija Prasad Koirala, we still lost. We have won and lost elections even when we had a strong leader.
Why do you think you lost in the last elections?
We lost our grounds in the Tarai. New parties had emerged in the Tarai and people thought that they would deliver what mattered to the Madhesi people. Now people have seen their work. They do not have a unified agenda to fight for a Madhesi cause. They have split. They keep dividing for power and privilege. Madhesi people are much smarter than those in Kathmandu perceive them to be. We have learnt a lesson from the last election. Now, we are now better prepared to garner broader support from the Madhesi people.
What about the NC’s loss in the hills?
In the hills, there was a general sentiment that people had seen us for a long time. There was a mood for change. The Maoists were a new party and some people thought that they would deliver something different. But more importantly, the elections were not conducted in a free and fair environment. There was booth capturing, vote rigging and an environment of threat and intimidation. All of this played an important role. That’s not going to happen now. Instead, the Maoist leadership has been occupied with feathering their nest and is more interested in making money and pursuing positions of power. The fear and intimidation of the last elections will not work. The people of Dailekh who stood up for justice for Dekendra Thapa is an example.
But the NC still looks divided.
People are very much willing to give the NC a second chance. This is going to help us tremendously. The question is—will our leaders be able to capitalise on this sentiment that prevails among the general populace? For that, our party has to portray a more unified image than it has been able to do so far. I have confidence in our leadership. They have learned from their mistakes. They probably see an incentive to be unified and accommodate each other’s interests. More importantly, they know very well that this will be last time they will be leading the NC to polls. If the party doesn’t fare well, it will not be good for all three—Sushil Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Ram Chandra Paudel—of them. This is also an incentive to make adjustments among themselves.
How do you think the perceived shift of power from NC president Sushil Koirala to senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba will affect electoral prospects?
I do not see a tremendous shift there. There probably has been some shift as has been reported by the press. But in every survey that’s been published, Sushil Koirala has stood as the most favoured leader in Nepal today. There’s a very strong complementarity between Sushil Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba. I am sure they understand that. They have to honour and respect that. And also be mindful of the fact that the third leader in the trio—Ram Chandra poudel—also adds to what the NC needs at this hour.
Can you elaborate on the complimentarity among the leaders?
Their following within the party is quite disjointed. If they do not come together, their following will stay divided. If the party stays separated in clusters, it is not going to help the party. So complimentarity is more in terms of being able to market the product that we have.
How will the NC try to sell itself to voters?  
I don’t think the NC has to be new. I think the NC has to become true to itself. It has to become the real NC once again.
What does that mean?
It basically means that it has to be true to the ideals it has stood for throughout its existence—the basic tenets of democracy, socialism and bringing large masses of the marginalised into the mainstreams of politics and economic prosperity. We probably were not able to communicate or articulate this very well in the last few years.
Still, the NC is not perceived as a liberal party, and it is especially the marginalised groups who feel that way.  
We are a politically liberal party and proud of it. This country needs a liberal political order. If you’re arguing that we are the follower of neo-liberal policies, then you are wrong. The policies we pursued were pretty progressive.
We tried to move the resources away from the centre, from the capital to the rural interiors.
How would you define ‘progressive’?
It would mean pluralism and prosperity with justice. And in today’s Nepal, it probably wouldn’t just mean institutionalising a federal democratic republic Nepal but also going beyond that to deliver the fruits of economic prosperity to a wide spectrum of people.
What would the NC’s slogan be to persuade young voters who were swayed by the Maoist call for change in the last elections?
Vote for a credible and trustworthy party that has all through history stood for change and for whom the meaning of change has evolved progressively.
What is the NC’s stand on federalism?
There’s a clear understanding within the NC that Nepal can’t develop without federalism. The country is unlikely to be prosperous and we have doubts if Nepal will be able to stay as a nation without federation. No matter how many provinces are carved few things are quite clear. First, none of the provinces will be mono-ethnic by virtue of our demography. Second, no matter how many provinces we have, the stronghold of the Brahmins and Chhetris on state power will be diluted. Third, the access of indigenous communities and Madhesis to state power will increase regardless of the number of provinces. And women and Dalits will benefit as much as others but not gain any extra benefit from federalism.
What is the state restructuring model of the NC?
In our General Committee meeting held in Nawalparasi, there was no unified opinion on it. NC members from the Tarai supported a 13 province model while members from the hills and mountains strongly favoured a seven province model in which all but one shared borders with India and China. The 13 state model gives a little more weight to identity and the seven state model gives a little more weight to capability—the two bases for state restructuring in the last CA. However, both are mindful of the other criteria. So we’ll probably take this debate to the people during elections. And on the basis of what we hear, we’ll probably be able to come up with one model.
Lastly, how do you perceive the recent developments with regard to bringing the CPN-Maoist onboard for elections?
We’ll do all it takes to win the confidence of the CPN-Maoist. But if they are hell bent on derailing the process, we have gotten much smarter than to fall prey to their demands.
Does that mean you are open to changing the government and setting a new date for elections?
Changing the government clearly means derailing the November 19 elections. As for the election date, it can be held on November 18 or 20 to make them happy but if they insist on anything beyond that, it will be clear that they more interested in derailing the process.


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