Daunting Tasks Ahead For Left Alliance
Raj Kumar KC
In the aftermath of Bijaya Dashami, the Nepalese political realm witnessed a remarkable change with the announcement of the alliance between three leftist forces - the CPN-UML, CPN - Maoist Centre and Naya Shakti Party Nepal. The announcement came as a big surprise in the political spheres as to whether the collaboration would be sustainable, leading to the political stability and economic development.
As a matter of fact, this collaboration, which is said to culminate in unification, has not only radiated a hope for political stability, but also sent strong message for unity to the democratic forces in building a stable nation. There is no need to vent antagonism. Nobody needs to make any spiteful remarks over the alliance. The collaboration should be welcomed without any prejudice because the Nepalese people have been longing for political stability and unity among the left forces for long.
It is a bitter reality that the left parties have suffered ‘breakup’ immediately after establishment in 1950. Still three are three dozen fringe left parties in existence. This historic alliance has certainly inspired all political forces to stand united for common cause rather than squabble over partisan and personal interests. It seems that the leaders of major political forces particularly the UML and the Maoist Centre agreed to forge an alliance to advance the country’s left movement no matter what are the interests behind the move. Obviously, the alliance occurred after calculating every permutation and combination from each side. The credit for the alliance should go to the leaders of the UML the biggest left force in the country (based on the results of local elections and organisational structure) and the Maoist Centre which, despite their differences in major political agenda, including the UML’s ‘people’s multi-party democracy’ and the Centre’s Maoism.
However, the would-be unity is not so easy. It entails a tough task. Leaders of UML and Maoist Centre are equally responsible to make the unification a success. If not, there is a fear that the entire left movement will have to pay a huge price, leading to unmanageable splits in the country’s politics. Hence, a proper political management is a must to ensure a sustainability of the alliance.
Doubts have been raised from different quarters about the success of the left alliance. It has been said that the UML initiated the unification process after its poor show in the local level election in Province No 2. The UML as the largest party had never expected such a disappointing result in the plains. This has been a big blow to the UML.
Besides, the Maoist Centre has been experiencing a difficult time within the party and at the same time it has realised that the general people are not happy with it. It seems that instead of going to the public, it has been in defensive position in recent years. Why does a political party that emerged from a decade long ‘people war’ prefer to stick to the government in every coalition? This obviously reveals that the Centre is losing confidence in the people.
The Maoists who launched their ‘people’s war’ which cost the lives of over 15,000 people had vowed to bring a positive change along with the economic empowerment to the downtrodden and poor. How can the Maoist leaders fulfil their promises? The election results show that they are losing people’s faith every day.
Moreover, the Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti in the alliance has no meaning at all because it has hardly any presence in the Nepalese political sphere. What political message does the Naya Shakti give to the Nepalese people? It is obvious that inclusion of the fringe groups like the Naya Shakti will cost more to the entire alliance if it is to last longer.
Devising the equation for an alliance is not an easy process. Leaders of the UML and Maoist Centre while forging alliance should feel more accountable to make the broader left alliance in the interest of general people. Otherwise, the much-touted left alliance will make them more frustrated.
The alliance should make its goals and intention clear before the people. If the collaboration is just for winning more seats in the upcoming elections and forming government one after another, this will be disastrous for the country because none of them have done anything to bring a noticeable economic change in the country. Leaders should come with certain agenda that alliance would deliver certain level of economic benefits to the poor and needy groups.
Forging left alliance is a good start to ensure political stability in the country. Everybody is happy about the announcement of ultimate merger of the parties. If the unification process is intended for the economic prosperity, development and democracy, it should be welcomed. The alliance formation has led to new political polarisation which largely contributes to the healthy democratic exercise like that in the developed countries. This alliance, if it is not guided by any vested interests will be a catalytic factor in bringing all political parties together for the common national interests.
The success of left alliance largely depends on the attitude of the leaders and their cadres. Are all leaders truly and equally committed to the basic tenets of the alliance? Let’s hope everybody will be equally serious about broader left alliance. However, the challenges are indomitable. Management of party resources at different levels of organisation is not an easy task. Besides, the announcement of the left alliance has made the Nepali Congress, the largest party in the country, more serious about formation of similar alliance of the democratic forces.
Every party go for soul-searching and realise its strength and weaknesses to let the merger become more productive and people-oriented. If it has taken place just for winning elections, it will have no real significance. Hence, the architects of the left alliance need to demonstrate true commitment and honesty to make it a grand success.