BARA, Sept 15: CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has clarified that voters in Terai-Madhes have received his party very positively as the party have always worked in interest of Madhesi people. The third round of local level election is only two days away. What is the position of the Maoist Center (MC) in Province 2? What is the MC’s standing on constitution amendment matter? Focusing on these topics, journalist Rishi Dhamala took an interview of Prachanda, who is currently in Madhes for his election campaign. Here is an excerpt:
What is the position of Maoist Center in Province 2?
Our party is strong here in Madhes. Madhesi people have positively acknowledged the work I did during my ten month’s term as prime minister. They prefer our party for the great deal of efforts we made to address their genuine concerns.
I was honest regarding their demands- whether it be giving martyrdom status to those killed during the Madhes movement or providing compensation and treatment to the injured. I also made outstanding efforts in providing relief to the affected families of the recent Terai flood. People have realized that MC work for Madhes.
The constitution amendment proposal failed at the parliament. On what basis do you say that Madhes demands have been addressed?
Madhesi people have realized the fact that I had honestly tried to address the grievances of Madhesi people through constitution amendment. It is true that I had prepared a list of 401 lawmakers who would support the amendment bill. But the proposal could not get endorsed since the lawmakers from the Rastriya Prajatantra Party were absent at the time of voting.
Also, the amendment proposal failed for the second time. But we have not given up. We will move forward the amendment process again. The proposal will be put to vote again. Madhesi people will get their rights very soon.
Will the constitution amendment proposal be forwarded after election?
Yes, of course. We are in constant effort to address the Madhes demands. We will forward the amendment proposal again after the election. If the MC and the Nepali Congress win in large numbers in election, it will become our responsibility to amend the constitution. But Madhesi people should first vote MC and make us victorious.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba assured of constitution amendment from Delhi during his five-day state visit to India. Was it a right step?
It is not right to raise the issue of Nepal’s internal affairs to a foreign land. But later I talked to PM Deuba. He clarified that he raised the issue of amendment in Delhi since Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi frequently asked him about it.
Why did you object previously?
I did not object. I was only commenting over Deuba’s raising of the issue in India because the amendment matter was already settled at the parliament days before his India visit. I did not see it necessary.
What about the main opposition party CPN-UML? They had also protested.
Whenever any prime minister from Nepal visits India, there is always objection. We have a trend to talk negatively, which is not right.