Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Ready, steady.go‘

Ram Chandra Poudel of the Nepali Congress.

When will the movement protesting the royal proclamation of 4 October begin?
We will wait till the negotiations between the government and the rebels take shape. If the peace talk adversely affects democracy then we will begin our movement immediately. For this reason alone we have chosen to suspend our activities at present.

Isn't it already too late?
I told Madhav Kumar Nepal (of the UML) that we should have begun the movement on 5 October last year. But they wanted to wait and see if the situation would prove favourable for them. They expected to be included in the cabinet so planning a joint movement took time.

Would this political crisis have arisen if the Nepali Congress and the UML had jointly run the country?
There is always opposition in any democracy. But opposition has its limits. The UML failed in that respect. They were in the minority and, yet they tried to dictate terms and conditions to us, the majority. Of course, we too made some mistakes. That culminated in was a loss of balance that paved the way for the rise of regressive forces.

The king didn't have an alternative because you couldn't agree.
The king has always spoken in riddles that are unclear and confusing. It is not true that we did not arrive at a consensus.

Can the Nepali Congress alone mobilise this movement?
Let's wait and see. The Congress is capable of going alone, but we will seek the support of everyone else. If there is delay in the peace process, then we will launch this movement on our own.

Madhav Kumar Nepal of the UML.
You have been harping on about the anti-4 October movement for quite a while but nothing seems to have taken place.
Right after the royal move last year, we floated the idea of a movement to the Nepali Congress. But they kept on dilly-dallying. Surya Bahadur Thapa also said he wanted to wait and see. But now, four political parties-the UML, the Nepali Congress, the Nepal Workers and Peasants Party and the People's Front will decide on a final date to launch the movement within the month.

Who is to blame?
We had invited Ram Chandra Poudel to take part in the meetings we had organised on 5-6 October last year, but he did not turn up. Later that month, Poudel agreed on a joint movement, which still has not taken place. So, you figure out what was to blame.

If the Nepali Congress and the UML had cooperated the way they are doing today, could Nepal have avoided the crisis we are in?
We ran the government for only nine months. This question should be redirected to the Nepali Congress.

Why were you unable to provide the king with a common alternative?
We have always listened to the king. But while we have the ideas, the necessary implementation has always been missing.

Can't you launch the movement alone?
Our party decided to begin the movement last November, but because of our party convention and following the advice of other leaders, we decided not to.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)