Q. The Lauda Air issue has sidetracked all other issues. Why did you call an emergency meeting of the central committee?
A. This is an issue of corruption. It is not a protest directed against any one party, nor in support of any other party. This should not be made a party issue nor should a whip be issued. If a whip were issued in such cases, then the former president of the USA, Nixon, would never have been removed. He would not have resigned, the Republicans themselves voted to remove him.
In the same way, eight Congress members of parliament's Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have stated that financial irregularities took place and that the Prime Minister is involved. The Congress MPs who registered a vote of no-confidence against the PM have also accused him in the Lauda Air case. This issue was also raised at the convention held recently in Pokhara.
By raising this issue we are not protesting or acting against the Congress. If the PM is involved in a case of corruption, then the whole country should raise this issue. We still tell the PM: "Vacate your position, form a committee to look into this matter, help in the investigation and if you are declared innocent you can have your position back again." The standing committee of our party has asked for the resignation of the PM. Since this is a matter of grave consequence and is a very important issue, we felt that a meeting of our standing committee was required. How do we raise this issue in parliament, or how do we deal with it on the streets? To find answers to the questions raised we thought it would be best for the standing committee to meet.
Q. The Congress is in government; it has a majority government but remains unsuccessful. How long is the country going to be hostage to such a situation?
A. Regarding the Lauda Air issue, we have not demanded that the Congress government should go. The Congress has a majority in parliament and therefore it should form the government. However, the Congress can form a government under the leadership of anyone other than Koirala, since he is involved in the Lauda issue. We have not demanded that the Congress should not form a government.
No one feels that there is a proper government in place, in view of the situation of the past 20 months. It is not only the UML that thinks so. In such a situation and also to prevent this sort of thing from happening again, we are demanding that the constitution be amended. If governments function the way the Congress has been functioning, then this is detrimental to the country.
Q. Has there been any understanding with other parties to raise a united voice in Parliament?
A. We will include all opposition parties in parliament and move ahead. Apart from this all the parties have their own programmes. We feel that it is better to unite and move ahead together when the country is facing such difficult times-and we will do that as far as possible. We want to unite on all issues and not only on one.