don’t see any suitable alternative to Dr. Bhattarai inside our party for the
primeminister"... An interview with Devendra
Poudel, Sunil ( Leader of Unified Maoist )
Devendra Poudel alias Sunil, a politburo member of the Unified
Maoist, is one of the closest aides of Vice-Chairman Dr. Baburam Bhattarai.
Poudel is now actively lobbying for the formation of new government under the
premiership of Dr. Bhattarai.
Mainali for telegraphnepal.com and The Telegraph Weekly talked to Mr. Poudel on
several issues related to internal rift prevailing inside the Maoists party and
the basis of formation of new government. Below the excerpts of his exclusive
You are time and again saying that formation of new government under the
premiership of Vice Chairman of your party Dr. Baburam Bhattarai is almost
you please elaborate what you exactly want to say?
Sunil: Our party has not made any formal decision regarding the
premiership of new government which is yet to be formed. Since the national
consensus is yet not built for the formation of new government under the
leadership of Maoists, to take any decision in this regard will be a hasty
move. As soon as other parties accept the Maoist leadership, Central Committee
(CC) meeting of our party will endorse the name of Dr. Bhattarai as the new
Prime Minister of Nepal. The other factions of our party led by Chairman Dahal
and Vice-Chairman Kiran are also eager to see Bhattarai as new Nepal Prime
Q2: You have said that factions
led by Dahal and Kiran are keen to see Dr. Bhattarai as new PM. Please let our
readers know whether any substantial consensus has been reached inside the
party in this regards or not?
Sunil: We are holding dialogue(s) with Chairman Dahal and Vice Chairman
Kiran and both are very positive in accepting Dr. Bhattarai as new Nepal PM. I
don’t see any suitable alternative to Dr. Bhattarai inside our party. Chairman Dahal had publicly
announced that he is not interested to lead the government. In this context,
who else other than Dr. Bhattarai can be a consensus nominee of PM from our
Q3: A few days ago you had said
that China, India, US, UK and EU will welcome Dr. Bhattarai as a new PM. How
did you get this hint? What is the basis of your claim?
Sunil: Well, the diplomatic and international community based in
Kathmandu was keen to see Dr. Bhattarai as new PM of Nepal. We are in regular
contact with different diplomatic missions located in Kathmandu. I found that
diplomats are very positive towards Dr. Bhattarai.
Q4: But don’t you think that
this is blatant interference of foreigners in the internal affairs of Nepal?
Should the international community be allowed to dictate as to who should be
the PM of Nepal?
Sunil: Please don’t take it in another way. Let me clarify it. They
haven't said that they will support the premiership of Dr. Bhattarai only and
they will not accept other leaders as the new PM.
However, they are very
optimistic towards Dr. Bhattarai and they believe that he is the only
politician of Nepal with vision who can garner national consensus and can steer
the ongoing peace and constitution drafting processes to a logical conclusion.
I also firmly believe that Dr. Bhattarai is the only person who can end the
current political stalemate which has engulfed the entire nation.
Q5: We have come to know that
Dr. Bhattarai and Chairman Dahal have reached some tacit understanding on
several issues related to peace process and constitution drafting process.
However, your faction is holding separate meetings in different parts of the
country. It seems that the faction whom you represent doesn’t trust the
implicit alliance forged between Dr. Bhattarai and Chairman Dahal? What say you Mr. Poudel?
Sunil: Let me make you clear that we are not holding any sort of separate
meetings. We are just having tea-talk with those comrades who believe on the
political line floated by Dr. Bhattarai. It is true that some sort of agreement
has been reached between our Chairman with Dr. Bhattarai on some issues related
to peace and constitution drafting process. However, our differences with
Chairman Dahal still prevail on several other important issues. But this
doesn't mean that we do not trust him altogether. If there was such distrust
then we would have already formed another party. We are still working together
and this shows that we trust each other.
Q6: Rumors in Kathmandu's
political circuit has it that your group is holding secret meeting with
hardliner faction of your own party to forge an internal alliance. Is this
Sunil: No any hardliner or soft-liner factions exist in our party. These terminologies
are coined by media for their own convenience. I assume that you are asking me
whether we are holding discussions with the faction led by Vice-Chairman Kiran
or not? Of course we are holding discussions. Since we are in the same party
and are working together, we have to discuss on several issues so that our
party can function in a much more progressive manner.
Q7: Have you found any change
in the attitude of Kiran faction while dealing with your group?
Sunil: Of course, there are visible improvements in their attitude. They
have become very positive towards Dr. Bhattarai. Previously, they used to be
very biased with him and they had even attempted to tarnish his image by
alleging him for working for some vested interest alien group. However, now
I have found that they have changed from their previous stance. They have come
very closer to us on the institutionalization of the two line struggle,
internal democracy (aantarik janabaad) and many other issues.
Q8: We have come across with
the information that your group has made some sort of understanding with
Kiran's faction regarding summoning of General Convention of the party. Is that
Sunil: Of late, we have seen the ideological differences inside the party
have gone up dramatically. We firmly believe that the General Convention of the
party is the only platform to settle these differences and disputes and make
our party more vibrant and united. We have found that Vice-Chairman Kiran is
also thinking on the same line. However, we have yet not decided any specific
date(s) for General Convention. The Central Committee (CC) meeting of our party
will soon fix the date.
Q9: Your party is divided on
whether or not to continue with the incumbent government led by Khanal. Dr.
Bhattarai has demanded the immediate resignation of PM Jhal Nath Khanal but
Kiran conversely prefers the continuation of this government. Your comments on
this differences please?
Sunil: We are the member of this coalition government
and we are supporting this government so that it can tackle the ongoing
political crisis. We wish to convert this coalition government into a national
consensus government. But the present situation is such that this government
cannot garner support of the opposition parties. I humbly suggest PM Khanal to
immediately step down in order to create an atmosphere for the formation of
national consensus government. Only a national consensus government can bring
the country out from the ongoing political logjam.
Some analysts even suspect that the intraparty rift seen in the Unified Maoist
is the deliberate attempt of Maoist leadership to mystify the parties in
opposition? Is it so?
at all. Such allegations, I think, are the deliberate attempt of some vested
interest groups to defame our party. Some serious ideological and tactical
difference prevails inside our party. We are working together to settle down