Party unity, for us, was not a ladder to achieve power and post. None of the reactionaries, be they domestic or foreign, don’t prefer the communist party to be united forever. They are intending to see its split and devastation as soon as possible. They tried their level best not make party alliance successful since the alliance between two largest communist parties had been forged. We kept on defending their effort.
After the election they made their utmost effort not to let party unity come true. We defended them and ultimately, we succeeded to forge party unity. They are continuously working to jeopardize party unity, create rift between its leaders and intended the dispute among the leaders turn worse. It can be easily understood.
Imperialist, reactionary, and all types of regressive forces intend to weaken communist party and for this sake they intend to utilize elements that adopt wrong thought, working style, and culture. They want to reverse the existing order through those elements and want to tumble down the communist unity.
We have still emphasized on the integration and consolidation of party unity, rectification of our weaknesses, fair criticism, self-criticism and commitment for transformation. We have telling this not to prohibit the other. We have to be true Marxist and Leninist and should stand for the unity not for split. We should be in favor of progression and collective decision not of regression and individual decision. We should be under the group but not under an individual. It should not be understood as a protest and prohibition against KP Oli. It is essential to understand it as an effort to transform our party, rectify mistakes, and inspired with the objective to take the party forward. The discussions and debates should be understood as an effort of transforming party and strengthening the ground of party unity but not to prohibit anyone. We are fighting a bloodless war as the definition of politics is as a bloodless war is scientific one. We are still along the course of struggle.
For what purpose is this struggle being made?
What is the theoretical, ideological, and political reason of the political uneasiness, and the situation of ongoing debate and crisis within our party?
I would like to stress that the present debate undergoing in our party is the debate whether we should make communist party directed on the ground of Marxism and Leninism or to make it move forth clutching the bourgeoise assumptions. Therefore, there is underlying serious philosophical and theoretical debate in it. The debate is whether we should consider Marxism as our theoretical ideals and move forth under its direction and try to transform the society in accordance to it or move forth forging alliance with bourgeoisie in status quo. On the other side, the debate is whether we should move forth organizing our party under certain political values or it should be considered as a crowd of anarchists. This is also one of the underlying issues and whether we should move forth adopting organizational principle developed as a long class struggle and ideological struggle or move forth devaluating and insulting all principles and keeping an individual at the center. There is an underlying debate of a great principle whether persons should be under the party or the party should be under an individual.
We have question like whether wisdom should lead the power or power should lead the wisdom. During the war or revolution in the past we used to ask whether gun should lead the party or party should operate the gun. The universally established principle is that the party should operate the gun that literally means wisdom should handle the power but not the power should handle the wisdom. Therefore, serious question has emerged with us whether the government should make policy based fundamental decision in accordance to the direction of party or the government should dictate the party.
There is an assumption in a bourgeoise democracy that Prime minister is all in all, though our present constitution does not follow it. However, the bourgeoises have been trying to establish it publicly. Communist party does not accept it. A communist party initiates policy based and fundamental decisions on the ground of collective decisions and government should accept it. Therefore, this debate is a serious debate of theoretical significance. The question before us is whether we should follow collective decision and individual responsibility or collective responsibility of individual decision and should move against science, fundamental rules of history, and fundamental principles of Marxism and Leninism.
At present we have a bitter experience of the compulsion to have group responsibility towards an individual’s decision. The group does not need to be involved in that decision-making process but group has to take its responsibility. Therefore, this debate is also a serious debate of theoretical significance.
Should we follow the course of neoliberalism in the context of building our economy? For example, Nepal seems to have agreed MCC agreement upon the condition that Nepal should clearly accept neoliberal economy at a time when Nepal inked MCC agreement. Our present government too seems to be heading towards the course of neoliberal economy, neoliberal capitalism, and time and again expressing its theoretical commitment on it. This obviously does not take us towards socialism but towards capitalist anarchy and doesn’t reduce class discrimination but widens it instead. Therefore, this is the debate to claim all these happening at present are absolutely wrong.
We have cited three pillar policy including social justice to move towards socialism. Our constitution has hypothesized that we can reach socialism only if we move ahead with the balanced coordination of public, private and cooperative and our party’s manifesto, our unity time manifesto and agreement are also towards the same direction. But our steps have not moved towards that direction pragmatically. How could we move towards socialism following the course of capitalism? Can the fruit of socialism be yielded in case we sow the seed of capitalism? We have to discuss on these issues too. What way are we walking along? The issue whether we are heading towards federal democratic republic as directed by of constitution or towards capitalism is the current debate with significance. While joining a party, the question whether we should be committed to follow certain system and process or ignore them and whether we should adopt the policy to be permanent leaders once one is elected or should consider it time bound. The issue to adopt the policy of accepting continuously the supremacy of party and an individual should be under it. This is also one of the underlying issues of the current debate.
When we talk about collective decision and responsibility, it should be implemented for all irrespective of post and power. A communist leader should face continuous test as students have to undergo to cross certain level. It is not that once an individual reaches the top level, he should not be tested. An individual has to justify his necessity on the ground of rational system and process and must remain within the system till his death. Only then he can be fit to take the responsibility of a member or of communist party. Therefore, our debate is also centered to this issue.
Is it that they are above the party discipline once they reach the top post? Should we once again return back to fight against such tendency as we did in the past against various despotic dictators? Or, should we move forth establishing really new culture? Therefore, our current debate has really important theoretical and strategic issues. This debate has shown that we are in favour of moving forth continuously developing and rectifying being based on the scientific values established with the principle and system of Marxism, Leninism and long struggle and sacrifice. On that ground we forged party unity and these issues are the serious issues of our debate.
This debate is not a snatch and scrabble for a post.
As our present debate has been narrated as a snatch and scrabble for a post, I would like to make it clear that even during our party unity we did not take it as the snatch and scrabble for a post. Internalizing party unity as the need of our nation and communist movement and its attachment with the lives and future of thousands of leaders and party workers, we forged party unity. We took party unity as our renunciation but not to secure leadership or certain post. I have time and again reiterated that as the chairman of a group during the promulgation of new constitution or forging electoral alliance I had consulted my friends and reached the conclusion that we would not accept the post of prime minister in case offer for it came from any corner. Insisting that we should give importance even to numerical equation we forged electoral alliance and party unity with the proposal to present KP Oli as the next prime minister.
Therefore, it was not for the post. For someone it might be for the post. I do not claim it was for all. But for us party unity was not a ladder to achieve the post. Despite having numerous obstructions party unity was inspired by the objectives of political stability, a new journey towards better future and prosperity of communist movement and the beginning of a journey towards socialism and we did the same.
Talking about the issue of 19 November, I had made an agreement with KP Oli to let him continue the post of prime minister for full tenure viewing the possible dispute and obstructions in the future. I thought so in case I was given the responsibility of party’s executive chairman, the government as well as the party would move smoothly in a right trach. Moreover, I did not have any haste to hold the post. Thinking that what I thought was really a great, I renounced my interest. It was the reality of the understanding built between us on 19 November,2019 and all are advised to view it accordingly.
For us, therefore, it was not a fight for a post. Once again, I would like to clarify that it was my effort to keep our party united and strengthen communist movement through my renunciation of the post. The present debate that is being blamed for the achievement of post is absolutely wrong.
The issue diverted to anarchy through ‘policy shift’
Coming to the last central committee meeting, I chaired one standing committee meeting and one central committee meeting on behalf of party chairman. Most probably these two meetings and two secretariat meetings are the meetings that were concluded with the most democratic discussions in democratic situation after party unity.
All the decisions were made in consensus and fundamentally they proved to be correct. We established central committee meeting as a place to carry collaboration and make collective decisions to wipe out all the insistences and prejudices of the former groups.
The meetings were successfully accomplished with the support of all central committee members and senior leaders. All the Central Committee Members had come out of the hall with their bright faces and hope of new trust and self confidence and the expectation of better party life and movement. With new hope and trust all hade come out of the hall.
But, unfortunately, for some friends including the other chairman and prime minister, the central committee meeting remained almost as a misfortune. Then after, through their separate gatherings they decided to shift the policy citing that their condition became defensive.
In a secret factional meeting held immediately after Central Committee meeting, they made policy shift and decided to unify former UML leaders and activists, perpetuate attack, basically, on Prachanda, allure and attract dissident leaders from former Maoist, and attack those who are close to Prachanda. In stead of being encouraged with the successful CC meeting and helping to move forth, they initiated the process of leading party towards anarchy through making policy shift.
What I should frankly tell in course of our talks with the other chairman and prime minister is that everything went wrong after you made policy shift. “You adopted the policy not to let the remaining tasks of party unity accomplish within 15 days and you are not intending to let party committee meeting hold. Subsequently all the issues have been halted.
Party fell in an utter crisis after the other chairman ignored few decisions made through party secretariat meeting. A strange situation emerged within our party that we have to keep on watching helplessly observing silence at a time when the other chairman discarded the decisions, within 2 hours, made in his presence in secretariat meeting. Many activities kept on going after then even without consulting the party, and carrying debate in the party.
You have seen all the issues of appointment and withdrawal of Ambassadors, appointments of Vice Chancellors in the universities, and the formation of land commission had been made without consultation and consensus. After the last central committee meeting, I witnessed that all the moves were inspired by the objective of avenging Prachanda. Activities like removing anyone whom I had appointed, humiliate those, officer and bureaucrat, who come to my contact and avenge me. Moreover, the extremity of revenge could be felt after the removal of my chair that principally has to be set parallelly with the other chair in case a meeting is chaired by two chairmen.
Removal of my chair is not only a technical issue, that is the result of the feeling of individualism and prohibition to prevent anyone one with divergent views. It was the expression of a sadist notion to insult the other and even his own comrade. Much discussions followed in party secretariat meeting after this move. There is not only technical issue in it but it is the issue of thought and tendency.
Struggle between pro-unity side and notion of splitterism
At present there is a struggle between two thoughts, whether to think about party unity and its consolidation or consider party unity as a burden and think to throw the ladder through which position and power had been achieved in the past. We are insisting to protect party unity but the other chairman does not become ready to accept party decisions. There is no probability of saving party unity in such a moment.
Talking to the political agreement made during party unity, it has been agreed to internalize people’s multiparty democracy and 21st Century democracy and review it in accordance to the changed new circumstance and adopt and interpret party line of socialism-oriented people’s democracy further and review it by the next general convention. But you all have might have witnessed programs being conducted across the country with the banner “Long Live Peoples Multiparty Democracy!” Even standing committee members delver speeches in such programs.
There remains no meaning to feel that we are in unity in case I say Maoism, the other says Peoples Multiparty Democracy, and the third says 21st century democracy.
Is it in support of party unity or the announcement of party split if I deliver speech in a program with the banner that mentions “Long Live Maoism’ and ‘Long Live 21st Century Democracy? There is no meaning of feeling that we are in unity if I say Maoism and the other says Peoples Multiparty Democracy. It justifies that we are against unity. What I would like to mention on People’s Multiparty Democracy is that our political report has highly evaluated the roles it played during our history. We have also made high evaluation about the role played by 21st Century Democracy and Maoist peoples war. Since we have to go towards socialism in the days to come, and agreed on ‘Socialism Oriented Peoples’ Democracy’ in this transitional phase, there is no question of feeling to be in party unity if I if I say Maoism , the other says Peoples Multiparty Democracy, and third says 21st Century Democracy. This will prove our journey towards party split.
Second, we are holding standing committee meeting to consolidate party unity in course of moving forth after unity. Is it in favour of party unity to register NCP UML in election commission upon the initiation of the prime minister himself at a time when we are in the meeting? Does it show the effort to maintain party unity? Absolutely not. It has well proved that such activities are not for the consolidation of party unity but for party split.
Party meeting has been continuing and we are carrying intense discussions too. On the other side youth from across the country have been asked to sought slogans of Long live and down with in the streets. And the leaders of that party who built national consensus to publish Nepal’s new map and imposed pressure to include a point of issuing the map in government’s policy and program are to be blamed for being an intermediary person. Should those leaders who insisted to create pressure for the issuance of new map be tagged as a broker? And the person who after mounting pressure included the point of issuance of map in the government’s policy and program on the very morning of its presentation in the parliament should be leveled as a great patriot. Does this process stand for party unity or split?
These all issues have invited discussion even among pro unity sides and between those with the notion of splitterism. This current intra-party struggle is not absolutely for the snatch and scrabble for the post. This is the debate whether to follow all our theoretical political grounds of the concept of party unity, Marxist understanding and commitment towards organizational principle. Our debates are related to the issues whether we should go towards socialism of capitalism.
Discussions have been ongoing even between two groups, those standing for party unity and those standing against the unity. This debated is not for the post.
Progress or misery, progression or regression depend ultimately on who can influence people more. If we can properly train people’s verdict revolution can go towards progression, development, prosperity and socialism. Other, if we fail to influence people and reactionary and opportunists delude people, the achievement of revolution will be jeopardized, the course of development will be obstructed, and there will be the danger of regression. This debate to be carried within a party is inalienably associated not only to party’s life but to the government, system, and overall future of change.
Let’s be prepared for even a worse situation
We communist should always be prepared to face even the worst situation. But we have to work hard to build the best situation. All can’t be on our hand and under our will and control. Class struggle, development of a society, and law of nature have their own rules. Before 6-8 months we were unknown about this Pandemic Corona Virus to come this time. Corona spread and it has unveiled the need of the change in global economy, political system and global thought. It has compelled us to think newly. Multitudes of complexities have been brought in our country after the spread of Corona Virus. Sometimes devastating earthquake occurs causing heavy human and material loss and sometimes heavy rain fall followed by landslides and flood bring unexpected human and material loss. We become compelled to face any sorts of adversity and natural calamity. Therefore, we communist should take initiations in creating the best situation increasing our labor and at the same time we have to be prepared for any sort of the worst situation. There is a danger of depression after one is not mentally prepared to face adversity. If we make preparation to face adverse situation thinking about the possible worst situation to come any time.
We would like to keep party unity intact but it is not only in our hand. The other side has registered NCP UML, organized mass rallies across the nation, and come down to the street shouting slogans that may weaken party unity despite our repeated request not to carry such activities. Making unitary decisions despite our suggestions not to do that. We have been carrying discussions and talks against such activities but unitary decisions are being made. Certainly, such activity does not support party unity. We are doing our level best to keep party unity intact keeping in view of our people’s spirit, valued voters and sympathizers. Moreover, we can win this battle only if we are mentally prepared to face any type of situation. We used to say during people’s war in the past, “We have won the battle in the largest front though we have lost in one or two fronts” and we used to have less attention of the possible encircling by the enemy. We had to face a huge loss after they surrounded us and carried surprise attack. After bearing one or two loses, we used to make better preparation, take better trainings, carry better recce, and adopt strategy to manage better weaponries and finally used to win the battle.
(An edited excerpts of NCP executive chairman, Prachanda’s views expressed during a program organized in Kathmandu last Wednesday 5, Aug 2020)