Pratibha Rana is a Rastriya Prajatantra Party leader, and mother-in-law of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. In an interview with Deshantar, Rana talks about the infighting in the Nepali Congress and the role of the prime minister.
How do you feel about the Prime Minister's decision to dissolve parliament and announce elections? Was his action appropriate?
There was no way out, apart from announcing elections. The prime minister took a very appropriate step.
The [Congress] party says the prime minister has made a mockery of the multiparty system.
According to what we read in the papers, the prime minister informed the party president. When the latter didn't show any signs of objection, the prime minister registered the proposal to extend the emergency with parliament.
People are speculating that there may be a "coup", a constitutional coup. Is that possible?
That's laughable. It's like a baby breaking a toy that he didn't know how to play with in the first place, and then bawling at his parents. Ever since democracy was established, only the monarchy has abided by the constitution. The present king has reiterated that he is a constitutional monarch. Despite his repeated assertions that he respects the constitution and multiparty democracy, people say there's going to be a coup. There can never be a coup in Nepal. A river can't flow upstream. Time past doesn't return. The rumours regarding a coup were started to mislead the people, they were started by leaders who want to cover up their wrongs.
Some say the monarch needs to be more active. Do you think this is appropriate or necessary?
All the [political] parties have said so. But how active they mean, I can't understand. This is a country of rumours. Someone said this! Someone did that! I don't believe in rumours. Times are changing. If you cannot flow with the times, you walk the wrong road. There's no possibility of playing a more active role.
Do you think, contrary to what people say, none of Deuba's ministers are corrupt?
As long as there's no legal proof, we can't say whether or not they are.