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Congress leaders slam UCPN (M)’s ‘insincerity’; talk November polls


Top Nepali Congress leaders on Monday said the UCPN (Maoist) is not sincere about holding fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) elections and promulgating a new democratic constitution.

Criticising UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s statement that elections are not possible in November also if not in June, the NC top brass said the Maoist party cannot escape from the polls and that the Nepali Congress would bring the Maoists on board.

NC leaders also declared that the party’s election campaign has begun from the meeting of its Mahasamiti, the 1,300-member body mandated to take policy decisions, which is meeting after a hiatus of four years.

Addressing the inaugural session of the gathering, leaders said that as June polls are not possible due to “technical reasons,” there is no alternative to holding them in November.

NC President Sushil Koirala said he will hold ‘serious’ talks with Dahal after returning to Kathmandu, concerning Dahal’s recent statement that his party will not allow the declaration of election dates for November, if June polls do not take place.

“Prachandaji is trying to push the country towards uncertainty and conflict by opposing the CA polls,” said Koirala. It is difficult to trust the Maoist party, he said.

Stating that the NC’s only mission is to hold elections and bring the country back on track, Koirala urged his cadres to make preparations for the polls by resolving the party’s internal rift.

 The NC’s office bearers appealed to the people to grant them a majority in the next CA elections ‘so that a new constitution will be ensured.’

They claimed that the old CA failed to draft a new constitution as democratic forces were defeated in the 2008 CA elections. “The people punished us in the 2008 elections. They should now provide us majority seats in the new CA to draft a federal democratic constitution,” said senior NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba. He also ruled out possibilities of the elections being held in June.

Referring to the internal dispute that surfaced in the party after the formation of the chief justice-led government, NC leaders said the issue of separation of powers will be maintained once the legislature is formed after the elections.

While the formation of a CJ-led government is a victory for the Maoist party, the overthrow of the “authoritarian” Baburam Bhattarai-led government was a victory for the NC, said leaders.

“First, we removed the Bhattarai-led government, which had increased its influence on the police and bureaucracy. Second, we have ensured that elections will take place,” said party Vice-chairman Ram Chandra Poudel.

Addressing the Mahasamiti, NC leaders Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Prakash Man Singh, Bimalendra Nidhi and Chitra Lekha Yadav said the party’s election campaign has effectively begun.

The Mahasamiti meet is expected to come up with a clear policy on federalism and forms of governance, the most contentious issues that led to the dissolution of the CA. The Mahasamiti will also chart the party’s election strategy and settle intra-party disputes that have plagued the NC since its 12th General Convention in 2010.

Posted on: 2013-04-09 07:57