Free polls impossible sans peace, free media: NC leader KC

Kathmandu, June 22:

Central leader of the Nepali Congress, Arjun Narsingh KC, said today that constituent assembly election cannot be held in a free and fair manner in the absence of peace and security and free media.

Speaking at an interaction at the Reporters’ Club today, KC said that assembly election will not be held in an “abnormal situation” as what had been stated by Prime Minister GP Koirala, nor can it be held “at any cost” as stated by Maoist chairman Prachanda.

“Who is running the government — the Young Communist League (YCL) or invisible force?” Rule of law is deteriorating in the country even after the Maoists joining the interim government, KC said.

The media can play a crucial role in holding the assembly polls in a free and fair manner, KC said, adding that Kamana Publications must hold dialogue with labourers to pave the way for the resumption of its publication.

Saying that his party was in favour of complete press freedom, senior Maoist leader CP Gajurel said that the Kamana Publications should also allow its labourers to form a Trade Union as per the law. “The media house should resume its publication and ensure rights of the labourers at the same time,” Gajurel said.

Gajurel said that his party will help settle the problem between the labourers and the management of the Kamana Publications.

Expressing doubt over the possibility of holding assembly the election even by mid-December, he said the factors that led to the deferment of the CA polls in June — activities of armed outfits in the Tarai — were still active. Gajurel said problem in the Tarai will not be resolved without doing away with the monarchy. Vice-president of the Nepali Congress-Democracy Gopal Man Shrestha said that law and order situation has not improved.

“Maoists’ written commitment to peace and their actions do not match,” he said, adding, “YCL’s activities are still detrimental to law and order.”

Vice-president of the FNJ Shiva Gaunle said those who were demanding the rights to form a trade union should not have created a situation that led to the closure of the Kamana publication.