Leaders and cadres of Nepali Congress (NC) have called former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, who won the general election from Gorkha 2 with support of, ungrateful.
Bhattarai, whose Naya Shakti Nepal had won only one seat in the federal parliament, is now chairman of Socialist Party Nepal after unification with Federal Socialist Federation Nepal that had won 16.
“The era of Congress has ended. It definitely played a role in bringing democracy with individual freedom and liberalism. Let us all thank it and keep it in the museum,” Bhattarai said in a program in Pokhara on Thursday.
Bhattarai had also slammed NC while negotiating to join unification of the then CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) before the election and claimed that Congress, that has tree as election symbol, will be uprooted. But the unification did not materialize as the two big parties refused to give him ticket from Gorkha 2.
He then forged alliance with NC and won the constituency with support of NC.
NC leaders and cadres alike are disappointed with Bhattarai’s recent comments. NC president in Gorkha Hari Bahadur Ghale told Setopati that Bhattarai has betrayed the NC cadres and commoners who had voted for him in Gorkha.
“What political morality says is we must cooperate through the duration of this parliament,” Bhattarai had said addressing the victory rally after defeating the joint candidate of UML and Maoist Center Narayan Kaji Shrestha by 7,000 votes. “We must cooperate in important issues as we have won jointly.”
Talking to Setopati Bhattarai defended his museum comment and claimed he said so in respect of Congress. “I have said NC should be kept in the museum meaning that the future generation should learn from history. The contribution NC made for liberal democracy and freedom is commendable. We should learn from that.”
Bhattarai laughed for a while when told that NC cadres in Gorkha are angry at his museum comment. “It should not be taken as I’ve forgotten their generosity. We are different parties, Congress friends should understand. They would not have won in Rasuwa if Naya Shakti had not supported them. There is give and take in politics and NC friends should understand that.”
“NC does not give vote for free and even Naya Shakti also does not give for free. The alliance was made due to convergence on ideology and there were mutual benefits. NC friends should not forget that the party did not win in hills apart from Sher Bahadur Deuba in Dadeldhura and Rasuwa. This is the fact and the friends should not forget that,” he elaborated.
He said the museum comment was made in the context of NC not being able to move forward in a new way, and added there will be cooperation with NC even in the future. “We must cooperate even in the coming days. We must enter socialism by stepping on democracy. We are together with NC on the issue of democracy.”