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Inclusion of Maoists in pol process would be prudent: Left

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Apr 25: Hailing the ''people's victory'' in Nepal, the Left parties today said the Maoists, who enjoy a substantial following, has to be included in the revived democratic process in the Himalayan kingdom.

The Left parties, who played a crucial role in mobilising support for the movement for restoration of democracy spearheaded by the seven-party alliance (SPA) and the Maoists, however, expressed ''unhappiness'' that the Indian government was not playing a ''pro-active'' role.

In separate interviews to UNI, the Left leaders said after Mr G P Koirala was named the new Prime Minister, it is time for the SPA to sit with the Maoists to come to an understanding to run the political course of the Himalayan kingdom after three weeks of massive protests.

The Maoists today rejected King Gyanendra's decision to revive Parliament saying the monarch failed to address the demands of the people.

CPM Polit Bureau member Sitaram Yechury, said, ''The popular misapprehension about the culmination of the struggle for a republican democracy always exist due to the past experience of the betrayal of the King. It happened twice in 1951 and 1990.'' ''Therefore, we can understand that till a Constituent Assembly is established such apprehension will remain,'' said Mr Yechury, who is head of the CPI (M)'s international relations call.

He said the Maoists are all for creation of a Constituent Assembly and once that decision is taken by Nepals Parliament and the official negotiations begin between the government and the Maoists, the latter will join the democratic process.

The CPI (M) leader said the current rejection by the Maoists must be viewed as the continuation of their struggle through peaceful means for a Constituent Assembly.

On the status of the King in the new political system, he said, ''Let it be decided by the people of Nepal themselves.'' Asked whether the CPI (M) was satisfied with the steps taken by the Indian government on Nepal, Mr Yechury said the government indeed put ''some pressure'' on the King to accept the demands of the protestors.

Mr Yechury, who left the election campaign in West Bengal to work out a four-point formula in consultation with the SPA, the Maoists and the Indian government, said the Manmohan Singh government had virtually accepted the same.

''Now, it has to be followed up to reach its logical conclusion,'' he added.

CPI leader A B Bardhan said, ''Now when the King has climbed down, the new poltical formulation should concerate on how the power goes back to the people, who are sowereign in any demcoratic set-up.'' On the future status of monarchy, Mr Bardhan, the veteran Communist leader and freedom fighter said King Gyanendra had to ultimately pave the way for a republic.

On the Maoists' participation in the democratic process, both Mr Bardhan and his National Secretary D Raja maintained that since they had a certain place in the Nepal politics, all efforts should be made for their participation in future course of the Himalayan Kingdom. On the Manmohan Singh government's role in diffusing the situation in Nepal, CPI(M) floor leader in the Lok Sabha, Basudeb Acharya, held that India should have played a ''more pro-active role'' for restoration of democracy as the King let loose repression on the agitationists leading to 13 deaths.

''The muzzling of democracy and the subsequent crackdown on the poltical leadership, the activists and the common people was a fit case for greater role by the world's biggest democracy,'' he added.

Mr Acharya said since the dissolution of Parliament and the King declaring Emergency on May 22, 2004, the Left parties through a platform of the Nepal Democracy Support Committee, spearheaded a movement for reviving Parliament, setting up of a Constitutional Assembly to amend the Constitution to redefine the role of the King and to usher in multi-party democracy.

On the Maoists' participation, the CPI(M) veteran said, ''Without them there can not be any viable government. Without them the new government will not be able to function. When they have shunned violence and worked togther with the SPA, there is no reason why they should be excluded as suggested by BJP leader L K Advani.'' Besides, the Maoists' participation in the mainstream politics would have a ''positive impact in our country as well'', Mr Acharya added.

''Here in India, the Maoists get much of the support from their counteparts in Nepal,'' he added.

On the future role of the King, the CPI(M) leader said there seemed to be no role for him. ''I don't think he will have any role.'' Endorsing the CPI(M) and the CPI leader's viewpoint, Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devarajan said he foresaw no role for the King and India's role was not satisfactory.

''The Manmohan Singh government should have instead played a pro-active role keeping in view the aspirations and struggle of the Nepalese, some of whom had to lay down their lives for the greater cause of democracy,'' he said adding the interim government to be headed by Mr Koirala will have to take immediate steps to associate the Maoists with the new poltical set-up.


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