Federalism will weaken Nepal’s sovereignty: Leftist Guru Singh


Mohan Bikram Singh is a revered left leader in Nepal. He has been credited for furthering communist ideology in the UCPN Maoist Chairman Puspa Kamal Dahal too. As general secretary of the Communist Party of Nepal- Mashal, a hardliner setup, Singh has lead a reclusive communist ideologue and an inspiration to many of the present day left leaders in Nepal. Nepali Reporter’s Rishi Dhamala recently talked with him on issues surrounding Nepal’s recent political changes and the proposed Constituent Elections. Here are the edited excerpts:

How do you perceive present political situation in Nepal?

The nation is presently going through a lot of uncertainty. Political parties are leading the nation in a totally wrong way. We have strong objections against it. They have committed series of wrong and unfortunate steps. Even after extending the Constituent Assembly tenure for four years, political parties failed to draft the promised constitution.

They have installed a non-political government and appointed Lok Man Singh Karki as the head of the CIAA despite all round protests against it.

What is the point in your protests, when four parties have formed the government in consensus?

That is the main concern. Four major political parties have pushed the nation into crisis time and again.  The decisions made by them in consensus have been of misleading nature and such decisions have affected the national growth. We cannot endorse such decisions that are affecting the national image. Though some of such decisions seem to bring some respite to the status quo, these decisions are doomed to ultimately push the nation into further crisis.

We cannot endorse these decisions and that is where we have strong reservations against the four-party monopoly. People will confront such authoritative tendencies sooner or later. It was not long ago Nepalese took to road against the monarchy. 

Other parties have also done nothing but pointing out the errors of major political parties. How do you justify it?

Unprecedented results are eminent from the wrong policy implemented by the major political parties. We have constantly opposed such policies and decisions made by them. We have continuously tried to  correct the wrong decisions of the major political parties and advocated to make responsive policies for the nation by considering national and regional geo-political circumstances.

 Do you expect CA elections in November? 

We surely want that CA elections are held in November. So far we have not seen any grounds to be optimistic for holding CA elections in November. The policies adopted by major political parties do not seem to be aimed at preparing ground work for holding CA elections in November.

Major political parties are working aggressively for holding CA elections in November? 

During the four years of the erstwhile CA, these same major political parties did not get tired of reaffirming that the CA will draft the constitution. But they were not able to deliver their promise. It has nonetheless given a lesson that you cannot trust whatever politicians promise. The government might hold the CA elections if the public puts pressure on it. Otherwise I don’t see any basis for it.
Well the government has reiterated its plan to hold CA elections in November?

Major concern here is not the extent of government’s commitment to hold CA elections. Activities of the High Level Political Mechanism that is governing the government is questionable. Specially activities of the UCPN Maoist do not seem to be pointing towards CA elections.

Do you still doubt UCPN Maoist’s intentions?

Yes. UCPN Maoist is still looking forward to capture state power by not holding CA elections. This has made us more suspectible towards their commitment to hold CA elections. That party is working towards foiling the CA election bid instead of supporting the initiative.

Do you want to say Prachanda vying for Premiership again?

Well they (UCPN Maoist) don’t want to elect a new CA. That party is presently working on two alternatives. Their plan A is to foil CA election and capture the state power. Their plan B is to reinstate the erstwhile CA in which they are the largest party.

How do you take the recent CPN & UCPN Maoist unification initiative?

Prachanda’s stress has been on unification because he knows that CA election results won’t be favorable if they contend each other. However present policy and statements of the CPN Maoist leaders does not seems to complying with Prachanda’s proposal. Baidya’s party has termed the UCPN Maoist as neo-revisionist. And we too think along the same lines. The pro-Indian policy of the UCPN Maoist is the major hurdle in the unification of these parties. If they do unite than the down-fall of the Baidya group is also imminent.

Whats your stand on the threshold debate?

We are not in favor of imposing threshold laws. CA elections should be held as they were earlier. Threshold regulation has been introduced as a conspiracy to quash small political parties. Every vote received by political parties should be utilized in the CA. However our protests should not be taken as protests of the minority.

What about the debate on number of seats in CA?

Total number of seats in the CA should be minimum. Number of seats should not be increased for nourishing party cadres. Number of CA members should be lower than what major political parties have agreed to.

So what is your party’s stance on federalism?

We don’t want federalism. As a small nation with diversity and surrounded by India on three sides, Nepal’s nationality will weaken if it embraces federalism. Its national sovereignty will be affected. Instead of federalism, Nepal should adopt a decentralized governance model. There are many nations who have been affected by the backdrops of federalism, Nepal should learn from them instead of being a victim.