Nagarik: How do you take the government decision to form a State Restructuring Commission?
Krishna Khanal: Political parties are not convinced about restructuring the state. That's why they decided to form an expert panel and now a commission. There is a psychological dilemma among the protagonists, they have agreed upon it in principle but due to difference on its shape and kind, there is reluctance.
How can you say the political parties are not mentally ready to accept federalism?
The government and the Maoists had signed an agreement to form the commission within a month before the CA election as per the CPA but nobody was willing to actually form the commission. NC had formed a committee headed by President Ram Baran Yadav to form the commission which never took shape. Pushpa Kamal Dahal also tried to give it a shape before his resignation but failed which shows unwillingness of political parties.
Which political party is mainly responsible for not forming the commission?
NC is mainly responsible for this. NC led the government during the interim period, which did not make enough effort. The Maoists also took initiation at the last minute to show that it tried. The successive governments have all failed to do anything about it. Everybody is responsible.
How did this issue come up suddenly now?
The issue has been shelved much and there is no escaping now. There is no point discussing on pros and cons of federalism. We have already accepted to go for it although parties are not mentally prepared. That's why I prefer to call it a reluctant federalism.
What kind of federalism would you suggest if you were to suggest one?
We should follow universal principle of federalism: two tier structure, clear demarcation on authority of central and federal levels, which depends on our necessity. Geography, population, language, ethnicity and culture could be parameters for drawing up federal units but the issue of sustainability of each federal unit should also be taken into consideration.