Nepal PM Prachanda’s Roadmap

Dear Prachanda ji:

You’ve been elected as the Prime Minister of the country for the second time. This is probably the last opportunity for you to correct your past mistakes and establish your high repute among Nepalis. Prachand Ji, there are many things that needs to be taken into consideration to redeem yourself as a successful politician.

People of Nepal, specifically Madhesi, Janjatis, Dalits, women and other marginalized communities, are observing you closely. You, as the first Prime Minister of Republic of Nepal, were probably not much experienced back then. Now you have already become a competent player of parliamentary politics. Therefore, Madhesi and Janajatis are once again hopeful that you will fulfil their aspirations. Even though you have foregone the  fire and legacy of ‘People’s War’, they expect that your parliamentarian experience will not turn down their aspirations this time.

Your first to-do-list is to settle the dispute over the demarcation of federal provinces based on broad consensus. Without taking the Khas-Arya group, CPN-UML and those favoring undivided regions into confidence, revision of federal provinces is not easy and simple. Hence, it will be better to  find out what could be the best model through dialogue such that it could be the win-win model for everyone.  Now this is the opportunity for you to materialize the promises to end discrimination that you had made with Madhesis, Janjatis, Dalits, women and other marginalized communities during the ‘People’s War’.

Recently, you told the agitating Madhesi leaders that you had returned ‘Maiti Ghar’ when you went to express your solidarity with the sit-in protests continued by Federal Alliance. That statement of yours was true. But, there is a strong criticism about you that you change your statements frequently. If this criticism is true, Prachanda ji, you need to correct yourself. Now the time has come to remain firm in your stance on the matters that your conscience proves are true.

As you have been elected as the Prime Minister of the country for two times, now you need not unnecessarily compromise on any of the things. Now you need not change the ‘Maiti Ghar’. Now please do not mention ‘it can’t be addressed ’ in your speech.

The responsibility you should shoulder now is to conclude the issues of transitional justice in such a way that can be convincing to the international community and leaders and cadres of your own party. Maoist leaders and cares should show their readiness to face the charges in some  specific incidents of serious human rights violations, including murder of Muktinath Adhikari of Lamjung and Krishna Prasad Adhikari of Phujel, Gorakha. Without facing charges in some incidents, the international community will not be satisfied.

During the first term of your Prime Ministership, you could not do any of popular development works. During the second term, I wish you could focus in this aspect, which will determine the success of your premiership.

Implementation of the Constitution will be a key challenge of your government. Specifically, federalizing the state and the Capitals, revision of federal boundaries and formation of high courts within a year from the promulgation of the Constitution will be a hard nut to crack for you. Once the country adopts federal structure, nearly 200 new acts have to be legislated. That is also not a minor challenge for this government.

During the KP Oli-led government, Madhesi, Tharu and Janjatis have lost their confidence to a great extent. Specifically, the way the state has deliberately charged, tortured and weakened confidence of leaders and cadres of Madhes and Tharu communities has deepened a sense of alienation toward the state. Therefore, you need to work in such a way so that those communities could feel the end of discrimination and guarantee of justice.  If these works are done, this will help repair psychological wreck of the society that was done under the pretext of nationalism during the KP Oli-led government.

During the Oli-led government, Madhesis, Tharus and Janajatis were presented as the communities that always affect nationalism. Your government needs to correct these mistakes and bring all the communities to the mainstream. Even today some of political forces have been using the narrow definition of nationalism that used to be chanted during the Panchayat era. The replacement of the old definition with the new should be adopted to move ahead. The definition of nationalism, that you mentioned while delivering a speech at the time of presenting no-confidence motion against PM KP Oli, was heart-touching.

The next challenge is to strengthen national integrity in accordance with the same spirit. Reasonably implementation of proportionate inclusive policy can mainstream Madhesi, Tharu, Janajatis, Dalits and women who have been victims of the old structure for centuries, and this can strengthen nationalism in a true sense.

While tabling the no-confidence motion in the Parliament,  you said that KP Sharma Oli did not like proportional inclusive policy. How will you implement the proportional inclusion policy during the government led by you? Everyone is observing you closely.

Your government can make mistakes; there are plenty of chances. The risks of using many cards at the same time still exist although you are an expert in the parliamentary  game. The decisions taken without due process may lead to political damage. Please avoid  hasty decisions and their consequences. Our best wishes are with you, and we are also observing you closely.

Dipendra Jha

An Advocate practicing at Supreme Court of Nepal.