In the last election, I told Prachanda that the party was going to lose for four reasons. First, the requirement for voter IDs, which our core supporters in the villages did not have. Second, the split [in the party in 2012] had had such a deep impact that no one had a positive opinion of the Maoists. If the other faction were to call for a boycott, we would lose votes. If they were to take part in the elections, our vote would be divided. Third, where would the funds for the election campaign come from? Those who fought in the conflict had nothing with which to fund the campaign. And the party had no money. So, it was going to be only the rich from our party who would fight the election. That would dilute our party’s identify and a party without an identity of its own would not win. Fourth, our cadres were disheartened.
Prachanda would not believe me and instead asked me where I wanted to stand for the election from. I told him, ‘I have gone around with a gun. Why should people love me, and why should they vote for me?’ I haven’t lived in Rolpa since 1998. And there are people like Mahara, Ananta, Onsari, Pasang, Jhakku, [senior Maoist leaders from Rolpa] and others from parties that have joined us. I would never stand a chance. Also, an election campaign would cost four or five million rupees. I told him, ‘Comrade, if I had four or five million rupees, I would build a house and not get involved in all these hassles.’ I told him, ‘Comrade, don’t worry about me. Worry about whether we’ll win or lose the election.’