Grand Left Alliance
The political market is, all of sudden, heated by talks of an electoral alliance and subsequent unity between the two biggest communist parties - the main opposition CPN-UML and ruling CPN-Maoist Centre. On Tuesday, the two big communist parties formally decided to go for a poll alliance in the upcoming federal and provincial elections slated for November 26 and December 7 this year. In their joint press meeting, the two parties agreed to unite to create a powerful left force in the country. A UML Standing Committee meeting on Monday had decided to collaborate with all the left, patriotic and progressive forces for the upcoming polls. The UML views that left unity is the key to transforming the nation and cementing national unity. In an identical decision, a meeting of the MC’s central secretariat had also agreed to opt for an alliance with the UML and formed a three-member committee comprising party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, leaders Narayan Kaji Shrestha and Ram Bahadur Thapa to reach a conclusion on the matter. Before taking similar decisions, the two parties might have intensified negotiations and dialogue behind the scenes. The media report that the UML and the MC will share 60 per cent and 40 per cent of candidates in the two elections, considered to be crucial in shaping the federal democratic republic. The MC has reportedly even agreed to contest the election using the UML’s poll symbol the ‘sun’. The designers of the alliance and unity have envisioned bringing UpendraYadav-led Federal Socialist Forum and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti to the process of grand unity.
The UML had emerged as the largest party from the local polls held in three phases while the Maoist Centre came to a distant third, but its poll performance was better than the UML in the election held in Province No. 2. The Maoist Centre had entered into a poll alliance with the ruling Nepali Congress during the local poll. The NC and MC, however, were not successful in forging an electoral alliance in the third phase of the local polls with both the parties blaming each other for the fiasco. This fast political development has triggered a sensation. Political observers have been taken aback as two diametrically opposed communist parties are heading for an alliance and ultimate unity. The MC rose in national politics through the decade-old ruthless insurgency while the UML had taken a similar course of action, but swiftly transformed itself into a modest communist-cum-democratic party. Their alliance and subsequent unity will have broader ramifications for the nation. Apparently, there are objective factors behind this incredible political development. During the first and second phases of the local polls, the MC suffered the worst poll results, while the UML also saw a similar fate in the third phase poll in the central Terai. This might have moderated their political ego, impelling them to go for electoral collaboration to achieve better results. It is better for the left parties to unite if they are guided by the same ideology, tactics and strategy. Nepali communist movement has suffered a series of splits and disintegrations since its inception some 68 years ago. The would-be unity between the UML and MC could be a landmark event in the communist annals of the country.