HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal today said the only way out of the present crisis was formation of consensus government under Article 38 (1) of the Interim Constitution.
Addressing a two-day national cadres’ meeting, Khanal ruled out fresh CA election on November 22 without amending the Interim Constitution. “If you want fresh CA election, you have to amend at least six Articles of the Interim Constitution. This is not possible in the absence of Parliament, so all parties must forge consensus to find a way out.”
Blaming the Maoists and Madhes-based parties for the CA dissolution, Khanal said the constitution-drafting body could have been saved if the Constitution had been promulgated by integrating all agreed constitutional issues and leaving the unsettled ones to the transitional parliament.
Dismissing allegations that UML was against state restructuring and federalism, party General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel said UML was the first party to suggest two bases — five elements of identity and four elements of capability. He spoke of the need to launch a broad democratic front to take on the Maoist ‘authoritarian mindset and its doublespeak’.
Khanal’s report blamed the “Authoritarian mindset and doublespeak” of Maoists for the CA dissolution. He also said the Maoists never wanted to draft a democratic constitution. “They wanted to establish a controlled democracy by refusing to accept the concept of pluralism, independence of judiciary, right to individual property and an opposition bench in Parliament.”
Khanal said there was no theoretical basis for single-identity based federal units in the hills and mountain and only two federal units in the Tarai-Madhes, where half of the country’s total population lives. “The Maoists discarded their own wartime concept of carving out federal units such as Mithila, Bhojpura, Abadh, Kochila and Tharuhat in the Tarai-Madhes simply to remain in power by appeasing the Madhesi Front,” said the report.
On state restructuring, the UML said ‘multiple or common identity’ should be the bottomline of building federal units. The report revealed that the Maoists were positive on carving out six to eight federal units on the basis of multiple identity, but backtracked a few days later. Khanal said if federal units are created on a single identity basis it will create social tension and confrontation among communities within the given units.
However, dissident leaders Ashok Rai, Prithvi Subba Gurung, Bijaya Subba and Ramchandra Jha and central committee members Kiran Gurung did not show up. They circulated a booklet titled “Our Views on the Current Situation”.