HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Convener of the Ex-PLA Association of Nepal (EPAN) and politburo member of Unified CPN-Maoist Nanda Kishor Pun today said the PLA had sacrificed their aspirations of joining the army for the sake of timely constitution.
“Since the parties kept on decreasing the number of PLAs to be integrated and rejected the Maoist proposal of giving the post of major general, who leads a force of around 6,500, and that of brigadier general leading a 5,000-strong troop, only around 3,000 combatants chose integration,” Pun said at a press conference organised here to announce formation of EPAN.
The parties have agreed to give the post of full colonel — in command of a force of 2,500 — to the PLA, he said. He, however, didn’t reveal who would lead the PLA, but said that would be decided after the selection process was over.
Addressing the meet, Pun claimed that EPAN would now focus on creating pressure on the parties and the government to draft the new constitution on time.
He further said the PLA would constitute 35 per cent of the total force in the making and the ranks would be divided according to its strength.
In the presence of top leaders of the establishment faction of the party, the 119-member EPAN was formed on Friday by a gathering held at Lalitpur based Khanna Garment. The central committee would become 151 strong soon.
The party has designated standing committee member Barsha Man Pun as the faction in-charge, politburo member Janardan Sharma as joint-faction in-charge of EPAN, while Chandra Prakash Khanal has become the spokesman. One of the members of the EPAN Ganesh Man Pun said the association was also formed keeping the upcoming election in the country in mind.
The members of the committee include party central committee members Kali Bahadur Kham, Tej Bahadur Oli, Ganga Narayan Shres-tha, Ram Prasad Banjade, Srawan Yadav and Tanka Hangbo besides Ganesh Man Pun.
Nanda Kishore Pun also said EPAN would initiate ideological debate among people against regressive forces who have been trying to split the party. He said the association would be involve in production works with the help of cooperatives to develop independent economy in Nepal.