Interview with Baidya, leader of the revolutionary faction, on various issues.
September 14, 2011
Q1: So how you take the fresh relief measures brought out by the Dr. Bhattarai led government?
Baidya: It had not been decided in the party internally as to such a program for relief measures would be made public. No talks as such have had happened as regards this. Yet, on the average, the relief measures are not that bad. But some points contained therein the relief measures appear vague.
Q2: Is it that the relief measure appears incomplete because the government is yet to take a full shape? When will your panel then join the government structure?
Baidya: The talk of giving a full shape to the government is not only the inclusion of our men who were close to us on ideological grounds. It is instead a talk of bringing in the Nepali Congress, the UML and some other parties also in the government set up. It is being talked that the government formation process be completed only after the conclusion of the party’s Central Committee. It was as per this consideration, the CC meet was convened for September 18, 2011. However, the CC meet got deferred due to the Prime Minister’s upcoming visit to the United Nations. The government formation process will remain stalled as long as the party’s CC meet doesn’t take place.
Q3: While the issues pertaining to the handing over of the key, peace and constitution were in an unsettled state, why it is that the meet of the CA had to be deferred due to Nepal PM’s UN trip?
Baidya: Circumstances cropped up like that. I suppose the trip to the UN was a pre scheduled affair. And so we can’t intervene on such matters. The Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister must attend the UN body meet. It is an act of wisdom not to convene the CC meet when two of our party Vice Chairmen remains out of station. Let’s not take this affair as a ploy to shift the CC meet. It is not like that. It happened so.
Q4: What were the key issues to be settled down by the CC meet?
Baidya: The last meet of the party’s steering committee too has already decided that the peace and the constitution drafting processes should go together. Prior to that, several such meets have too decided on those similar lines. But the debate and the discussion, heated ones, are intense over the submitting of the keys of the weapon containers by disarming the People’s Liberation Army. The debate on this issue is strong.
Q5: What proposals are you carrying at the party’s CA meet?
Baidya: We have already made a statement wherein it has been stated that the key of the container-weapons were submitted violating the party’s decision. We will push the point that the keys were handed over to the government ignoring the party’s decision which has disarmed the PLA. We will take up this issue and target it against the party’s top leadership.
Q6: Is it that you got an inkling that keys were being handed over and when you demanded the fact from the party’s leadership, it ignored?
Baidya: Had the keys to be submitted then the leadership could have dared to convene the steering committee meet prior to handing over the keys. The debate should have been there. Had it been an official decision then it would have meant that the decision was in line with party’s procedures. The decision was made by keeping us all in the dark and later approved by the Special Committee of the party. We were not given even an indication that the keys were being submitted.
I wish now to reveal a secret which has yet not been made public or the people do not know about this fact. We were also kept ignorant while signing the four point agreement with the Madhesi Front. I along with some of my colleagues have registered our ‘note of dissent and reservation’ at the Steering committee meet.
Q7: What else you differ on the signed four point agreement with the Madesh Front?
Baidya: The fourth point in the said Maoists-Madhesi Front agreement is related with the inclusion of the Madhesi Army as a separate unit in the Nepal Army institution. The language used is as vague as it can’t be explained. The agreement makes the commitment for the recruitment of ten thousand strong army men through the tool of having inclusion. We have reservation over this issue. This issue definitely demands adequate debate and discussions.
Q8: Your party has been forwarding the notion of inclusion and now you are opposing such moves? Why so?
Baidya: We fought the people’s war and facilitated the advent of republican order in the country. Why it is that the army which formed the premise for a new constitution is not being allowed to have a separate unit in the Army institution? Likewise, why the party’s past decisions as regards the number of Maoist militias undergo through repeated revisions pushed by other parties? Why the number of militias for integration purposes have come down from ten now to seven thousand only? How it could be that you accept the number what has come from the other quarter? How could a ten thousand strong separate army from the Madhesi population be included in the institution at a single stretch?
This doesn’t mean that we do not want that the Madhesi population be included or say recruited in the Army. No! We do not mean that. The other ethnic tribes too should be brought under the inclusion scheme much in the similar manner as has been agreed upon for the Madhesi population. This issue will certainly crop us sooner than later. If we award the Madhesi quarter with ten thousand strong separate army, shouldn’t we provide the same treatment to the people from the indigenous communities? Shouldn’t the dalits, the oppressed and the ones who fall in the backward class be allowed their entrance as well inside the Army? Isn’t it that the nation in effect demands the inclusion of all the tribes and ethnicity?
Q9: You too were in the party committee for talks with the Madhesi Front which decided this issue. Then why is this protest?
Baidya: Yes! It is correct. I too was in the government formed seven member committee. But we did not know that a sort of tantalizing agreement was in the pipeline with the Madhesi Front. Only two persons participated in the entire affair. These two men stamped the deal.
Q10: You claim that Peace and constitution drafting processes were very much linked with one another. However, your party chairman has already vowed for the Militia re-classification. Why it is so?
Baidya: It is not that we were against the re-classification of the Maoist militias. We are committed on that. Let’s understand what the Chairman has said. Let’s first set the modality and then initiate re-classification process. The peace process must be carried forward towards its desired end. If not done so and only you go ahead with re-classification then that would be completely a wrong move.
Q11: Your party chairman has very freshly said that those who shy away from confronting debate and also those who can’t move ahead with the peace and constitution drafting processes will turn into ashes. Don’t such utterances weaken the party’s unity?
Baidya: One should not have talked on a wrong way. I would say instead that those who “deviate from the party’s structured policies will vanish in the ethereal medium”. Those who ignore party ideologies, politics and established working procedures will finally be ruined. But I would not like to present myself in that manner. I believe in the notion of having adequate debate and dialogue on contentious issues and keep the party in a unified manner. Party’s unity is important.