Pushpa Kamal Dahal: Talks are going on. We decided that we should meet informally because at all party meetings, we tend to take strong positions. Once we reach a consensus through personal consultations, we will sit together once again.
Everyone has pinned their hopes on you, but you keep changing your position, how are you going to solve the deadlock this way?
All my words have been twisted in the media. My only concern is to work out alternatives to the current stalemate. And the ones who say I change my position when I'm trying to come up with different solutions do not understand what I'm doing.
If you think things will take care of themselves once you become prime minister, are you ready for it?
Even if I was to become a PM, the influence I have on making sure there is a consensus would not decrease. But I want to avoid talking about these imaginary scenarios. Still, you and a lot of friends have been asking, and if through dialogue I find myself in the PM's chair, I will not back down from taking responsibility.
At the moment Baburam Bhattarai gets all the credit for the good work done by the government, while you are criticised for its bad decisions. Many people say that as long as this government is in power, it will be bad for Prachanda's reputation.
I agree with your statement that the longer this crisis continues, I will be affected the most because I lead the biggest party. We are an important stakeholder in the peace process, and I represent all the promises of progress that were made during the 2006 uprising. All criticisms as well as people's hopes are pinned on me, which is a challenge but also something I take great pride in. Still, I feel the opposition, traditional forces, status-quoists, and old power-centres are trying to embarrass me at all costs, and I cannot give any guarantee. People tell me that it is up to me that it is in my hands, but they never support me when I really try to make things happen.
So ultimately if the solutions to all problems lie with you, then you must also make some compromises.
I agree and our party has been reiterating that all alternatives have to be discussed. We have been talking to all the parties, the Madhesi parties, and even to the CPN-M. We have to come to an agreement about many things, and must compromise. In the next few days, there has to be an understanding between the NC, UML, and us, and mainly between the NC and us. Just like the close discussions between Girija Prasad Koirala and myself made the 12-point agreement in 2006 possible, the current crisis hinges on what the NC and us decide.
By agreement, do you mean a mixed system of governance?
No, no, not only that. That could be one alternative, but there could be others as well. In any case, there has to be an understanding between the NC and us. I told the leaders of the UML and NC just now not to take any decisions in excitement, because we must provide a solution.
Your party has split and your militia has been integrated. Are you scared and trying to avoid the elections?
That is totally untrue. Yes, the party has split, our soldiers have been integrated, and the crisis grows. But ask every member of our rank and file, and they will tell you how confident they are. I made calculations of all 75 districts and think we are not weak at all. In fact, we deeply suspect that it is parties like the NC and UML who want to lead the government and postpone polls in order to weaken us.
Are you ready to hold elections in April 2013?
Yes, we are fully ready and committed to polls in 2013.
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