Nepali Congress (NC) General Secretary Gagan Thapa has called parallel dialogues of NC and CPN (Maoist Center) with CPN-UML to form government blasphemous.
Thapa, who was against forging electoral alliance before the election, in a video interview with Setopati has said that NC, Maoist Center and CPN (Unified Socialist) should not have negotiated with UML or any other party for forming government having forged electoral alliance.
“That is blasphemy. No one can do that. Because alliance was forged before election. One could have said we couldn’t agree if the alliance were forged after election but not after forging pre-election alliance,” he has stressed. “We told our voters yesterday ‘we are one’. What has been said now? ‘We couldn’t agree on taking turns (for PM). We, therefore, weren’t open and transparent.”
He has slammed NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba for not formally discussing coalition negotiations in the party and hoped that Deuba will explain why and how the coalition with Maoist Center unraveled in the central committee meeting called for the next week.
“We could have discussed that Maoist Center didn’t agree to give NC the first term inside the party. I don’t know what the meeting would have done but we could either have said we should continue the coalition or stay in the opposition. But those discussions and debates done in an institutional manner would have put the party in the right position.”
He has claimed that he knew about developments on coalition only through the media as Deuba excluded him, another General Secretary Bishwa Prakash Sharma and other leaders from the anti-establishment faction in the negotiation process for coalition.
He has added that the party could have formally discussed about the combination of the posts of PM, president and speaker, and decided whether to leave the post of PM for the posts of president and speaker or seek the posts of PM and president, or PM and speaker.
He has also called Deuba and his circle novice for not anticipating that Maoist Center may ally with UML if NC were to refuse to give PM to the party first when Deuba had stressed on the need for electoral alliance before the election, when Thapa and others in the anti-establishment faction were against it, claiming that Maoist Center would forge electoral alliance with UML if NC were to opt against it.
He has revealed that he will now focus on NC playing the role of strong opposition at the center and all seven provinces, and also reach party cadres and general public across the country and listen to their grievances and suggestions to revive the party.
He has said that NC should now focus on working for the people through the local bodies headed by the grand old party.
Talking about the election for NC parliamentary party leader, he has claimed that he did not receive vote from 11 lawmakers who were in the anti-establishment faction.
Deuba won the election among 89 lawmakers securing 65 votes with Thapa securing just 24 votes even though the meeting of anti-establishment faction that decided to make Thapa its unanimous candidate was attended by 30 lawmakers. General Secretyary Bishwa Prakash Sharma and Pradeep Paudel outside that faction had also supported Thapa’s candidacy.
“I believe at least four lawmakers from the other faction voted for me. It seems, in this manner, that 11 from our group didn’t vote for me.”
He has said fervent campaigning by senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel and Shashank Koirala in support of Deuba led to his poor showing apart from the hope of being appointed minister by Deuba and the fear of being ostracized by the Deuba faction for supporting Thapa.
“What I have thought about this election is that it is an election inside the party. I should thank the leaders who proposed and supported me. I will expect and estimate that anyone from our lawmakers could have voted for me, and make efforts to bring other lawmakers to my side. I don’t want to get stuck in this for long.”