HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Setting the tone for the Nepali Congress-led national consensus government as the unavoidable precondition for fresh polls, party President Sushil Koirala today said that the Congress could throw its support for Constituent Assembly polls, which the Unified CPN-Maoist is stressing for.
Addressing a group of journalists from the Reporters’ Club, Nepal, at his residence in Maharajgunj, Koirala said, “Although, the recent gathering of district presidents of the Congress suggested for fresh parliamentary polls, the party would go for CA polls. However, there must be a Congress-led national consensus government and none of the major parties should remain out of such government.”
A majority of Congress and even CPN-UML leaders have been lobbying for parliamentary polls that can also function as the CA.
Koirala, however, said that his party’s Central Working Committee meeting would take final decision on two key issues: on CA revival the party would either go
for fresh polls for either CA or parliament. Second, Congress would pick a prime ministerial candidate for the proposed consensus government.
“The CWC would decide about the process of promulgating new constitution formally. But, on the prime ministerial candidate, the party will decide only after there is a plausible situation for the Congress-led government,” Koirala said.
The Congress chief rejected the allegation that the consensus is being elusive due to the NC’s delay to declare the prime ministerial candidate. “It is not an issue as NC is ever ready to give a name in half an hour when asked for the same,” he said, adding that, “Our party runs on principles, and I will put the issue in the party’s CWC meeting. However, the Congress does not think it appropriate to announce the name of the prime ministerial candidate in vacuum.”
Koirala said the Congress strongly believes that Bhattarai-led government would not step down soon and easily. “The PM is still reiterating that his government would hold the fresh polls. And, the caretaker government is taking decisions of long term impact illegally one after another. It shows, he is not going to step down easily,” Koirala said, adding that, it was for this reason the Congress was not deciding on prime ministerial candidate.
The Congress president said that the party would fight from three fronts – a constitutional battle that could be materialised through President Ram Baran Yadav’s step, dialogue with the coalition partners and launching street movement.
Stating that the consensus is elusive until the Bhattarai-led government steps down by creating an atmosphere for NC-led government, Koirala said that it could take few months for the street movement to get momentum.
On Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Koirala said the UCPN-M chairman cannot be trusted as he has a “tendency of giving promises easily in a contradictory manner but never acting accordingly. So, he has lost our trust”.
On Bhattarai’s recent remark that foreign powers were taking critical role in the internal matter, Koirala termed prime minister’s statement as “irresponsible” and said he has no right to remain in power even for a minute, if his statement was true.