KATHMANDU, March 7: In a recent interview with Ratopati, Nepali Congress (NC) leader Shekhar Koirala maintained that leaders like Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), Madhav Kumar Nepal and Ram Chandra Poudel must be supported to win in the next election.
However, Koirala also stated that parties like Congress and Communist parties must not participate in the election as partners.
“Cadres of NC may give their votes to a communist leader but will a communist cadre give his/her votes to Nepali Congress?” Koirala questioned.
“Even if the coalition is not formed during the election, we must take responsibility to help senior leaders like Prachanda and Madhav Nepal to win the election,” Koirala further stated.
These days you are at Biratnagar. Is it for preparations for the upcoming election?
Yes, preparations are underway.
Are you here to help those leaders who are close to you to be a candidate for the election?
What I am advocating these days is that those aspiring to be candidates must do their homeworks.
Since your team was defeated during the party’s national congress, are there any possibilities of your supporters being bypassed during ticket distribution by the team of Sher Bahadur Deuba?
It is natural to have these kinds of feelings. But, the NC won’t function in this manner. There is a system of distributing tickets for election by the House of Representatives Regional Committee to ward offices, by the District Working Committee to Rural Municipalities, by provincial committees to Municipalities and by the central office to Metropolitan and sub-metropolitan cities.
Tickets for candidates of only the mayor of metropolis and sub-metropolis will be distributed by the central office, so there is not much to worry about.
Besides, if other teams distribute tickets only to their supporters then capable candidates won’t get the opportunity to participate in the election. This time, NC has to perform well at the local level and I am convinced that we will do better.
You have been maintaining that NC and other communist parties must not form a coalition during the election. Why?
I am still saying that the NC and other communist parties must not form a coalition during the election. Because cadres of NC may give their votes to a communist leader but a communist cadre won’t give his/her votes to Nepali Congress.
Earlier, we voted for Babu Ram Bhattarai, Renu Dahal, Upendra Yadav, Mahantha Thakur. But have communists voted for us? No.
Didn’t Maoist Center vote for the deputy mayor of Nepali Congress in Bharatpur?
Yes, but only a few of them. We won in Bharatpur with our own votes. Nepali Congress performs well in Chitwan.
What if other parties form a coalition against NC? What if UML and other parties form a partnership in Biratnagar during the election?
NC will win in Biratnagar. NC participated in the earlier election alone. UML has become weaker.
Won’t NC be benefited if it wins the trust of small political parties?
Firstly, whatever coalition we have in our country is not sustainable. So, what I say is let’s go to the election first then form a coalition to form the government.
Besides, political parties in Nepal share different views and ideology. We have firstly built a mentality for sustainable coalition then and then only a coalition can be formed.
What does Prachanda have to say about it?
Prachanda is a self centered man. Besides, it is our responsibility to help him win in the election even if the coalition is not formed between NC and Maoist Center. Senior leaders must be present in the House.
Since you have been advocating against a coalition between NC and communist parties, Prachanda and Madhav Nepal might have felt insecure, mightn’t they?
Senior leaders like Nepal, Prachanda, Sher Bahadur, Ram Chandra Poudel, Oli must be in the House. But coalition is not a solution.
What do you think about the position of NC in the next election?
This time, I believe that of the 753 local level, NC will secure a win in 450 units. We will be a party to win the election at most local levels.