Duplicity again: Prachanda takes to social media to lambast the government for tabling MCC Compact. Can he come clean?

A leader whose credibility has steadily eroded over the past few years, Prachanda is known for doublespeak and dubious character. He has exhibited this trait on MCC Compact repeatedly.

Nishan Khatiwada

  • Read Time 3 min.

Kathmandu: Few hours after his apparent consent to the government to table the much-debated Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)’s Nepal Compact in the parliament, Maoist chairperson Prachanda, a radical communist leader, has taken to the social media to criticize the government for tabling the Compact.

Prachanda heads Maoist Center which is a major coalition partner in the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government. 

“The government has tabled the MCC amid protests and opposition,” he wrote on Twitter and Facebook. “Maoist and its parliamentary party have already made it clear that we stand against the compact.” “I oppose police atrocities against protestors and wish them a speedy recovery,” he stated.

On Sunday as the Compact was being tabled in the parliament, anti-MCC protests were being staged in various places of the capital, where police had used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd. Some protestors are reported to be injured during the clash with police.

Prachanda used to argue that once the Compact is tabled in parliament, his party will no longer remain in the government.  Whether he will do so is anyone’s guess.

Earlier this week, Prachanda was said to have given his consent to file the impeachment motion against Chief Justice Cholendra Shamsher Rana on the condition that he would then support parliamentary ratification of the Compact.  Soon after, he was reported to have made the statement to the contrary.  

Prachanda’s dubious stand on MCC does not stop here. Back in September last year, he, together with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, had written a letter to the MCC headquarters in Washington promising to get the Compact ratified by parliament as early as possible. 

He, however, lied to the people by denying that such a letter had ever been written by him.

Then when the letter became public, he admitted writing the letter but defended himself by saying that such a move had been taken to save the coalition from falling apart.

Prachanda has long been playing a double role on the issue and this is the fresh case of his double standards and doublespeak, according to observers.  

Pampha Bhusal, Janardan Sharma, Devendra Paudel, Shahi Shrestha and Maheshwar Gahatraj are ministers in the incumbent Deuba government representing his party Maoist (Center).

Nepali Congress leaders appear to be utterly frustrated by such behaviors of the leader of the major coalition partner. “It is a pity that he still tends to act like a rebel while his party is in the government. This only exposes his double standard,” said Guru Raj Ghimire, a Nepali Congress leader. “This will raise the question about the relevance of the coalition with his party,” he explained, adding that he should not encourage any kind of incitement and violence and should not motivate protesters. “As a part of the ruling alliance, his responsibility is to support the government’s decision.” 

In a parliamentary system, it becomes the collective responsibility of cabinet ministers to support the Prime Minister and in case of any conflict, ministers resign or coalition partners pull out their support to the government, according to political observers. 

In the case of Maoist Center and its leader, this seems to be an exception.

Experts have decried the dubious role of Prachanda in the MCC saga. “The Compact was supposed to be tabled by Janardan Sharma of his party. He did not do so,” Tikaram Bhattarai, a senior advocate told Nepal Live Today. According to him,  Prachanda should have pulled ministers from his party out of the government if he was really opposed to the decision. “He did not do that either,” he said. “This is clear proof of how the political parties are not being accountable to people.”

It is unfortunate that he is playing a double role for the vested political interest, he said.

But Prachanda did not do this. Instead, ministers from his party are in the government and he is also provoking cadres to take to the street for the protests. 

Senior Advocate Bhattarai commented that Nepali political leaders often maintain double standards. “Prachanda tops the list in showing double standard,” he said. 

Prachanda used to argue that once the Compact is tabled in parliament, his party will no longer remain in the government.  Whether he will do so is anyone’s guess.