Nepali Congress Chief Whip Ramesh Lekhak (File Photo)
Nepali Congress (NC) gave the vote of confidence to the government led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' in hopes of turning the tables on the ruling coalition. However, this effort seemed to turn futile until the elections of the speaker and deputy speaker. On the other hand, the ruling alliance has won both the posts of speaker and deputy speaker. That is why party president Sher Bahadur Deuba's decision to give the confidence vote to the Prachanda-led government came under fire from the non-establishment faction.
Against this backdrop, Nepalkhabar talked to Ramesh Lekhak, the chief whip of the NC on the party's preparations in the run-up to the elections of the President and the Vice President. Excerpts:
The elections of the speaker and deputy speaker are over. The ruling coalition did not split as expected by the NC.
The NC has no intention to break the ruling coalition. We have no idea how the intelligentsia is taking it. Prime Minister himself approached us with a proposal that national consensus is necessary for the elections of the president, vice president, speaker, and deputy speaker. We agreed to it. But Prime Minister did not implement it. Therefore, we filed our candidacies. We are still ready to sit for talks on the future political course if the prime minister is willing to move ahead through national consensus. If not, we will stay in opposition. I am sure that the alliance will split within one year from now.
Coalition partners have reached a deal on power-sharing. How will it split?
Some common ideological ground is a must for an alliance. The ruling coalition lacks it. Some leaders in the coalition believe in republicanism while others have no faith in it. Similarly, there are leaders who believe in federalism and those who do not. They are divided over the basic principles of the constitution.They are united just because of power sharing. But will they maintain the same unity in course of implementing the constitution? Some leaders did not field their candidacies in the provincial elections denying their relevancy. Are they ready to allocate power to the provincial governments? The foundation of the coalition is weak at its very base. Hence, this coalition will split within one year.
How is the NC preparing for the elections of the President?
As I said earlier, we are ready to sit for talks and rethink of the future course of politics including the elections of the president if the prime minister is willing to act according to his proposal.
CPN (UML) is decisive in the ruling coalition. Will Prachanda's proposal be implemented?
This is one of the reasons why the coalition does not last for long.
Despites suggestions by a large section of NC leaders to stay in opposition, the party gave a confidence vote to the Prachanda-led government in what intelligentsia construe turning the tables on the ruling coalition. What do you say?
First, we will not join the government. Second, we are the main opposition and will remain so. Third, this coalition will not last more than one year. We have no intention to break this coalition, it will split itself.
There have been voices that the party will not run under the presidentship of Deuba and that he should step down. What is your take on it?
There have been no differences in the party. Our leaders are expressing their voices in unison in the House of Representatives. At the start, President Deuba expressed his views in the House meeting. Then the general secretary, deputy general secretary, and leader Arjun Narasingha KC presented their views. Senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel will speak in the next meeting. Have you ever noticed any differences in their addresses? You should make a judgment objectively.
Are you sure that the dissatisfaction growing in the party will not increase further?
It won't. The discussions within the party should not be taken as internal conflict. Internal discussions keep the party alive. It is seen that the NC is moving forward unitedly.