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Indra Dhoj Kshetri


Congress Unification: A plot to uphold Monarchy

The issue of Congress unification has hit the debates since last few weeks, especially, after Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s proclamation from his home town that Nepali Congress will be unified by Dashain. He also proclaimed the generosity to give adequate room to all and even declared readiness to abandon Party Presidency. There is sufficient ground to doubt on ‘noble’ cause for Koirala’s call for unification. Primary question whirls around why is the octogenarian leader, who ever wanted to assume power and negated the decent voices, calling for immediate unification? His close aides doubt it is not just his noble wish to unite both the Congresses and make it the largest democratic force in the country, but has hidden intentions. Political thinker and Nepali Congress Democratic leader Pradip Giri also raised this concern and wrote on a daily that congress should be unified not to uphold Monarchy but to address people’s aspirations for peace and prosperity.

It has become evident that Koirala didn’t become Prime Minister alone in the support of popular uprising. He had also behind the scenes give and takes. Koirala seems to have been successful on convincing the King for ceremonial role and on return he assumed power. This has been reflected on repeated appeals for ceremonial Monarchy to appointing one of the closest Royal aide and strongest hands on suppressing popular movement to the post of Army Chief. Though he corrected his voice that his attitude was applicable till the constituent assembly polls and the people will decide the fate of it, he still wants his party to uphold the ceremonial monarchy. The government activities, especially regarding army and the Monarchy and Prime Minister Koirala’s Thursday’s meet with the King still exhibit that Palace is still a decisive force behind the curtain in Nepalese politics. Delays on implementing the interim constitution and one point repeated call for Maoist’s disarmament also create ground for doubt. Accessing the responses to his call for ceremonial Monarchy, he understood that it is not so easy and the people have already moved ahead. He also knew that a faction within his own party leadership and cadres favors Republicanism. For this, he needed a powerful support which could nothing be better than uniting two Congresses. He is well aware that there is another faction within both the Congresses which still favors Ceremonial Monarchy. A faction in the party thinks Koirala’s voice as divine and is in mood to follow whatever Koirala dictates. And Koirala is assured that this faction, if united, will be the most powerful support.

In a Television program, Nepali Congress leader Narahari Acharya said that all the party decisions in recent days have not been in favor of President Koirala. Party has made some decisions against Koirala’s expectation. Hence Koirala could not even be assured about his party. To the next hand, NC D has also not made clear stance regarding the status of Monarchy. It is also on the mood to wait and see. NC D President Sher Bahadur Deuba’s past shows that he is ready to do anything to assume power. He dissolved the House at midnight, declared himself as the Party President and resumed ‘post’ of Prime Minister with an illusion that regressive move has been corrected. He acted like a baby. He could not even analyze what was going to happen after half an hour. God bless him, he is still the President of the third largest Party in the parliament. And it seems that his call for respectable unification is just a bargaining tool.

Unfortunately, Koirala is not finding an appropriate successor from within the family and from the close aides. Ram Chandra Poudel to Narahari Acharya have opted for republicanism. Daughter Sujata and nephews have still not made considerable position in the party nor does his brother Sushil. This might have forced Koirala to look beyond for his successor. And to dictate anything, no one will be better then Deuba. Upon green signal from Koirala and also from the Palace, Deuba will agree to any conditions to assume power after Koirala. Hence, Koirala’s call for unification is not free from the doubts that it may be a plot against people’s aspirations for a Monarchy free Nepal. It won’t become a wonder if Deuba becomes the President of unified Congress in condition to support Monarchy by defeating republican faction supposed to be led by Congress General Secretary Ramchandra Poudel.

However, only Congress people can make a difference to this plot. And it is inevitable to do if the Congress wants to sustain as a democratic socialist party in the country. Unless it upholds Monarchy, it becomes the feudal party which will have no place in country’s politics in the future. Congress campaign for a republican Nepal led by central member Narahari Acharya could save the party from this plot. ##