During a meeting with CPN (Unified Socialist) Chairman Madhav Kumar Nepal on January 23, he was preparing to meet CPN-United Chairman Chandradev Joshi. He said that he was going to meet Joshi to discuss the issue of party unity. The Unified Socialist, which discussed the issue of party unity with the Maoist Center on Sunday (January 22), has also started a unity drive with the Upendra Yadav-led Janata Samajbadi Party (JSP).
The United Socialist Party, which did not support Pushpa Kamal Dahal to make Prachanda the prime minister, gave him a vote of confidence on January 10. The Unified Socialist is in opposition in the parliament. However, leaders are in a bid to unite with the Maoist Center led by Prachanda. Nepalkhabar talked to Unified Socialist Chairman Madhav Nepal on this matter. Excerpts:
Is there a negotiation with the CPN (Maoist Center) and other parties to achieve unity or is it just an attempt to engage?
I just met with Chandradev Joshi, the chairman of CPN-United. He said, "Let us sit down and talk about party unity". He said (that) he would send the General Secretary to hold talks for party unity. This indicates that we are already in the process and open to party unification. Both old and new generations are excited about our move. We are looking forward to talking to everyone about the unification.
Since the Unified Socialist, and the Maoist Center were together while in the then NCP, only technical issues are yet to be finalized. Is it true?
I have not yet understood how far the negotiating team has progressed. Now the process has begun. Even before the local level elections, there were talks of uniting the Unified Socialist with the Maoist Center, but it could not gain momentum. Immediately after the local-level elections, the provincial and federal assembly elections were held, keeping both the parties engaged.
A unification panel was also formed under your coordination, wasn't it?
Yes, there had been talks of forming a unification coordination committee, but that did not work out. We are trying to revive it again. We see possibilities for unification. If not, we will try to form a front or a mechanism for cooperation. We will move forward according to what the situation is ripe for.
You did not support Prachanda to become the prime minister but gave him a vote of confidence. While you are having parallel talks with Janata Samajbadi Paty (JSP) for unity, are you closer to Maoist Center or JSP in terms of ideology and action?
We cannot say it right now. It depends on the turn of events. We are now also negotiating with the JSP in for unity, be it collaboration or formation of a front. Now our talks with the Maoist Center has also started. Similarly, there has been a conversation with Chandradev Joshiji's party CPN-United.
You talked about other parties but you did not mention about the CPN (UML). Isn't there any possibility to unite with UML?
I have not seen any possibility to unite with the UML. I have heard many UML office-bearers ruling out the unification with the Unified Socialist. The views of office-bearers should be taken as official. If not spoken, the news disseminated by the media should be refuted. If not rebutted, it should be taken as truth. As a saying goes in Nepali language, "Don't ask the way to the village if you are not visiting it."
Is there no discussion about uniting with UML? You and KP Oli have met three or four times.
The meeting with Oli was accidental. It was not planned. Don't call it a meeting. Some good things happen when you sit together. Nothing happened during the meeting with Oli.
NC, LSP, and Unified Socialist were seen together during the election of the Speaker and Deputy Speaker. But again, you are trying to forge unification between the Maoist Center, Unified Socialist and JSP, what does it indicate?
This is all about speculation. If such a unification were held between these parties, the government would be shaky. We should not speak based on speculations. We are now working on how to consolidate the party. We are charting out plans and going to villages, districts, and provinces as per the plans.
Will the naming create problems in the unification between the Maoist Center, Unified Socialist, and JSP?
We have already told the leaders of the Maoist Center that we cannot go after the name of Maoists. We cannot accept the principle of Maoism, nor, will we accept its election symbol. Let's sit down and discuss our agreements and disagreements on the issue. We can sort out differences through talks. We should adjust the things that need to be adjusted. Because we can't just unite unless the party line is clear. We must listen, defend and protect the views of the entire party line. It is our responsibility to protect the cadres associated with us.
Are you disappointed after Maoist Center Chairman Prachanda formed a new alliance without consulting you?
Definitely. One should always think before s/he acts. If you act without thinking you won't realize it at first, but regret it later at a point in time. That's when the loss occurs. That's why leaders should always think before they act.
How long will the Prachanda-led government last?
They have already said (that) they will run it for five years. Let them run it for a full term, we have nothing to worry about.