Leading Articles

Naya Shakti under doubt

Efforts are being made to further stir Nepal’s unstable political scenario. A new political outfit with the name of Naya Shakti led by erstwhile Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai is being aggressively pitched over last few days. The outfit has published jacket ads in leading dailies calling people to attend the announcement gathering on Sunday and Bhattarai himself has appeared in broadcast medium to talk about his party.

Bhattarai is former prime minister from Maoist party and believes that he can attract huge population to his new venture. Naya Shakti has put forward five commitments and their summary is “economic development is the way out”. It is but natural that a person of Bhattarai’s background wants to take his initiative forward with determination but his expensive campaign might not win people’s hearts for various reasons.

Nepal has no dearth of political parties and adding another party will not bring any substantial change in the country. It appears that people would have no interest in the new party as almost all parties have stopped to be guided by philosophy, theory and values. People are fed up with parties led by leaders hungry for power and privileges. Maoist communists, who have dominated post-2006 Nepali politics with their motive of ‘capturing power’, cannot easily fool the people.

People have grown wise. Intellectuals have not been convinced with Bhattarai’s purpose and working style for some time. Who will believe a person who was at first a part of constitution promulgation and who gave a public announcement a week later that he had parted ways with Constitution Assembly and Marxism itself? Bhattarai should revisit his political somersault. After all, his activities are not transparent as per democratic values. For example, the source of expenditure for operation of Naya Shakti party has not been made public. No one knows how the advertisement campaign is funded.

Bhattarai used to be chairperson of an important committee in the legislative parliament. He collected ideas and recommendations from different communities as the committee chair. But how many among those recommendations find space in the constitution? He respectfully invited and allowed people involved in seditious activities to put their views in the committee. Also paving way for destabilising Nepal’s social structure by putting organic communities at each others’ throats, Bhattarai, while in the post of the PM, gave controversial statement that Nepal can be ‘merged’ into another country. Was this his personal opinion or was he guided by foreign forces?

Unless Naya Shakti coordinator Baburam Bhattarai clears the air regarding doubts and questions like these surrounding him, his new outfit will not move ahead with expected pace. His murky past as chief of ‘people’s government’ who ordered his cadres to perpetrate murders, rapes and loots will haunt him and he cannot hide behind the shield of being new party chief.