Dahal sees foreign hand in poll debacleAsserts Maoist party is still kingmaker as no government is possible without its backing.
Tika R Pradhan
CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman and former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday said foreign powers directly interfered in the November 20 federal and provincial elections and called the situation serious.
This is the first time a top politician has publicly accused foreign powers of meddling in the recent elections.
“We have seen many elections since joining the peace process [in 2006]. But never before had I seen this level of foreign meddling, when foreign forces meticulously decided whom to defeat and whom to elect,” said Dahal while addressing a meeting of the office bearers of the Press Centre Nepal, the press wing of his party, at Harisiddhi in Lalitpur. “All past elections were announced and conducted by Nepalis, but that was not the case this time. This is a very serious development.”
Dahal said he wouldn’t go into details.
Dahal’s utterance comes following recent claims by some Maoist leaders that Dahal had suddenly decided to contest the November 20 elections from Gorkha-2 after sensing that a conspiracy was being hatched against him in Chitwan-3.
“You [journalists] need to study and research this phenomena,” said Dahal. “More difficult days may come if we fail to carefully analyse our struggle against foreign powers.”
Dahal, who has been working hard to cultivate a faction within the ruling coalition led by the Nepali Congress, said his party could cobble together 60 seats in the House of Representatives and that strength would be crucial for government formation.
The Maoist Centre, according to Dahal, has 34 seats including two independents—Prabhu Sah and Kiran Kumar Sah. The tally, he said, would go up to 60 with the inclusion of 10 seats of the CPN (Unified Socialist), 12 seats of the Janata Samajbadi Party and four of other parties. Dahal has also been trying to convince Resham Chaudhary, who is serving time at Dillibazar prison for his role in the 2015 Tikapur killings, to come on board. Chaudhary’s Nagarik Unmukti Party won four seats, including his father who won as an independent candidate.
Despite its reduced strength, Dahal said the CPN (Maoist Centre) is still the kingmaker as no government is possible without its backing.
“The parties that came first and second in the elections have tried to form a government, but I don’t think that will materialise,” said Dahal. “But if that happens, we will go to the people and do better in the next polls.”
Other speakers at the function, meanwhile, blamed the Maoist Centre’s own leaders for the party’s poor poll performance. They accused the leaders of losing touch with the people.
One major reason behind the party’s failure, according to Dahal, also was the influence of around 5-6 million Nepalis living abroad who hold say over their kith and kin back in Nepal. Foreign power centres, he said, can easily influence the Nepalis living abroad.
“If we are unable to address the concerns of the Nepali diaspora, foreign powers could misuse them,” said Dahal. “If foreign meddling continues, time will come when it would be difficult for us to safeguard the people’s achievements.”
“There are also reports that our leaders ‘sold out’ and votes were bought by the UML, the RPP and the Janamat,” he said. “We are investigating.”
Dahal went on to accuse the leaders of his own party of working at the behest of foreign powers.
“When we were underground it was difficult for them [foreigners] to track us, but now they know everything about us,” said Dahal. “All our leaders have been trapped by one or another foreign power centre.”
He however didn’t name the candidates who were targeted or backed by foreign powers.