Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
His house for my land?"


It is barely a month since the new government was formed, your party is already disrupting parliament, why?
If you talk about the economic situation of Nepal (when the land reforms were done last) about 6,000 families controlled almost 83 percent of the total wealth, both movable and immovable. Now how are you going to re-distribute that wealth? There should be more than just a ceiling on land ownership. There should be a ceiling on wealth, if you really want to eliminate poverty. After all, wealth consists of movable and immovable property. If you don't control wealth, the government's new policy will only protect the gains of the nouveau riche. The Prime Minister's package is incomplete, this is why we are protesting. I do not think the government has done its homework-on land that will be distributed, the number of families that will benefit, if these families have citizenship certificates or not, etc. We believe this is a purely political ploy.

So you differ on procedure only?
No, the Prime Minister did not address property, only land. If I sell the vehicle I use, I will get almost Rs 4 million. With that I can buy 13.5 hectares of land. And even if I sell 20 bighas (13.5 hectares) of land I have in the tarai, I will never be able to buy a house as big as Madhav Nepal's. I am prepared to give all my land to Nepal, will he in return give me his house? I am prepared to give Deuba my whole Village Development Committee (VDC). Will he in return give me his palace (near Budanilakantha)?

So you'll keep disrupting parliament if government does not withdraw the program? Let us all be clear on this-we are not demanding that the program be withdrawn. We want a ceiling on property also. The PM lied in parliament, he said he had consulted all parties. But he did not even tell us anything, leave alone consult us. We told him that if this was only for his political future, he could do what he wanted, but if he really wanted the nation to benefit, then he needed to implement a ceiling on wealth.

Nothing can be achieved by simply disrupting parliament. Will you still do it?
The Prime Minister raised this issue in parliament, and we will continue to challenge it there. Imagine the situation of the next generation if we stick with this ceiling-everyone will be landless, or they will have very small plots of land. You say 69,000 hectares will be freed up for distribution to 75,000 families. But these families do not have citizenship certificates. The government does not have any strategy to tackle that problem. If this package is forced on us, we have no choice but to disrupt parliament.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)