KATHMANDU, Dec 24: A meeting of the dispute resolution subcommittee on Saturday witnessed a heated debate after UCPN (Maoist) leaders backtracked from the previous agreement to enshrine the wordings ´people´s war´ in preamble of the new constitution.
Dev Gurung, a key leader of Baidya faction in the Maoist party, insisted that the wordings must be mentioned in the preamble while members from non-Maoist parties vehemently opposed it.
Gurung argued that Maoists can´t make further compromises as it was only them who have shown flexibility so far.
Agni Kharel of CPN-UML asked Gurung what is the point of having the dispute resolution subcommittee--which is headed by Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal--and holding discussions if the Maoists are not ready to make any compromise.
"The Maoist side has been making compromises for the past one and half years despite the fact that Nepali Congress and UML have not shown much flexibility," said Gurung, adding, "We are ready for a give and take compromise but other parties are bent on making us surrender."
When members from other parties reminded Gurung that several issues, including the matter whether or not to mention ´people´s war´ had already been settled in the past, he said it was agreed under a different context and that understanding wouldn´t be acceptable now.
According to Kharel, not only Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and other Maoist leaders but also a 19-member body, formed under the Constitutional Committee (CC) in Gurung´s coordination, had agreed to mention ´armed insurgency´ in place of ´people´s war´ in the past.
"The Gurung-headed committee had decided to use ´armed insurgency´ and ´historic people´s movements´ in the preamble and Gurung had agreed to mention ´people´s war´ only in explanatory notes," Kharel, who was also a member of the body, told Republica.
The body´s report was later submitted to the CC for deliberations. "Interestingly, it was Baburam Bhattarai who objected to the decision to not mention ´people´s war´ in the preamble," said Kharel.
Gurung admitted that they had reached an agreement to arrive at consensus but argued that they can´t stick to the past decision as it was made in a different context.
"Enough is enough and compromise can´t be only from one side, the others must reciprocate," Gurung told Republica.
Why not people´s war?
Kharel said non-Maoist parties can´t accept the wordings ´people´s war´ in the new constitution as it was the war waged by the Maoists´ not people.
"How can we accept the war in which so many innocent people lost their lives as ´people´s war´?" Kharel questioned.
He made it clear that the wordings were not mentioned in the Interim Constitution, in the Comprehensive Peace Accord and other important documents signed in the past and ruled out any possibility of mentioning it in the new constitution.