We will be the largest communist party in the country

The only female administrator of the CPN (Maoist Centre), who is also Minister of Energy, Pampha Bhusal is a prominent figure in Nepalese politics. Also Deputy Secretary General of the party, Bhusal is running in the federal elections from Lalitpur-3. The Jobit is Tika R Pradhan spoke to Bhusal amid his turbulent campaign on various aspects of the elections scheduled for November 20.

How would you describe the party’s election campaign so far?

Our campaigns have just started. We started campaigning from Friday after completing our political training. Our campaign is different this time because the Election Commission banned us from fanfare. Large gatherings are now a thing of the past; we now only take about 25 people for canvassing. We have also limited musical performances. As a result, our campaigns are now much more restrained and peaceful.

It is feared that the transfer of votes will be difficult between the Nepalese Congress and the Maoist Centre. Are you sure about the transfers?

I don’t see a problem with the vote transfer. In the local elections, Chiribabu Maharjan of the Nepalese Congress won the mayoralty of Lalitpur but the candidate of the Maoist Center lost in the race for the deputy mayoralty. Vote transfer issues were one of the reasons for the loss, but in elections, the personality of the candidates is just as important.

Is the Maoist Center behind the agendas when you only talk about safeguarding political progress and fighting against regressive forces?

There are many such programs, but it is important for us to safeguard the political achievements of the struggle of the Nepalese people for more than seven decades. Economic development is not possible without political stability. We focus on youth employment, environment, industrialization, agricultural modernization and hydropower development. We also want to promote tourism.

What about your party’s political agendas?

Again, political stability is essential for economic development. We had also forged an electoral alliance in previous elections, so that we could herald an era of political stability thanks to our two-thirds majority. We need to make structural changes so that the new government can fulfill its full five-year term.

Our party has put forward a proposal for a directly elected chief executive for which we can also recommend changes in the constitution.

Even development projects take at least five years to materialize. But over the past decade, frequent political changes have cost Nepalese dearly: tens of thousands of people have sacrificed their lives, seven decades have passed, and more than two generations have dedicated their time and efforts to bringing about change. policies in the country. . It is therefore important to safeguard these achievements. The question of national independence is also of the utmost importance.

Nowadays, the difference in the quality of education provided in private and public educational institutions creates two different categories of people. If this continues, we could have another revolution on the way. We have a responsibility to ensure quality education in all educational institutions, private or public.

We must also put the public health sector on an equal footing with the private sector. We must focus on scientific, practical and professional education. Our other challenges are to ensure proper use of drylands and to provide opportunities for our skilled human resources so that we can control emigration.

Everyone seems to talk about the problems, but few have plans to solve them. What solutions do you offer?

We offer integrated farming systems, the use of modern tools in traditional farming communities and the permanent availability of fertilizers. We can produce fertilizers in the country, which would free us from the burden of imports. We have huge tracts of land that are barren. We shouldn’t allow this – landowners should either farm the land themselves or let someone else do it. This will have a double effect: it will reduce our dependence on food imports, including vegetables, and it will make the country self-reliant. Focusing on agriculture would not only create jobs, but also boost the country’s economic development.

If we can secure a full term government, all of the above goals will become a reality. We can ensure a development that took about 50 years in the past in the next 10 to 15 years.

Why do you think the Maoist party, which was the biggest force in 2008, is gradually losing its influence?

We are the main agents of political and social change in the country. People trusted us completely in 2008 but we couldn’t keep our party intact. The continued fall of the party shows that the internal stability of the party is important. The degeneration continued until 2016 when many dissidents joined the party forming the CPN (Maoist Centre). Now, and gradually, we are uniting with other splinter groups joining the main force.

As your President Pushpa Kamal Dahal has declared, will your party emerge as a decisive third force?

We know that we cannot be the first party in the November elections because we did not present our candidates in all the constituencies. But we will become the second force in the country and the first among the forces of the left. I don’t know what or where our president spoke, but we will emerge as the second largest party. In the next five years, we will strengthen our partisan base and become number one in the next polls.

On what basis do you say that the CPN (Maoist Center) will emerge as the second force?

We will win the maximum number of seats among our 47 SMU candidates, increase our previous tally in proportional representation, and then merge the party with the CPN (United Socialist) led by Madhav Nepal. We have already formed a unit coordination committee for the same. The party led by Baburam Bhattarai is also joining us with other leftist forces. With this, we will become first among communist forces and second in national politics.

How do you see the future of independent candidates? Are they a threat to the dominant forces?

I don’t believe that many independent candidates will win and pose a threat to political parties. Existing political parties have spent seven to eight decades trying to bring about meaningful change. Some individual leaders and parties may be weak, but the majority are powerful players.

Our constitution adopted a party system of majority government and minority opposition. We cannot work outside the party system. It takes 138 seats to run the government and there will be no significant role for any individual. The impact of a newspaper article could be greater than an individual speaking in parliament. There is a widespread attack on the existing parties that have brought change to the country and guaranteed the right to expression for all. Now people are making full use of these rights. But it is not good to attack this political leadership.

An individual who has not spent a single minute or a drop of sweat for the country cannot govern it.

If we can safeguard the party system, we can ensure socio-economic development to bring about meaningful changes in public life.

Do you think people are unhappy with the way current leaders are behaving?

You can see that political parties are reflecting the feelings of the public, for example in the changes they have made to the list of names of candidates for proportional representation. Many names were dropped and did not make it to the second list. Asking political parties to correct their course is one thing, but trying to derail the existing political system is another. What people don’t like is nepotism and clientelism.

What do you think of the independent candidates in your constituency?

We do not care about independent candidates, whether they are in my riding or in other parts of the country. We have strong political bases throughout my riding and we compete with candidates from other parties. We have rooms sheets and cell committees and sister wings comprising students, teachers, intellectuals, women, youth, professionals among others. We’re ahead of the independents in most things.

Why can’t your party be more inclusive in terms of organization and election candidates?

We have 33% women on the Standing Committee and this would help at the next convention to ensure inclusiveness in the senior party committees. Of our 47 SMU candidates, only eight are women, largely due to alliance compulsions. There are other problems too: some female leaders were unsure of competing with their better endowed male candidates while others failed to secure the desired constituencies.

Toya J. Bell