Some fringe communist parties and social groups staged demonstrations in the capital today against the Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement backed by the United States.

Parties such as CPN-Marxist Leninist, CPN-United, and CPN Ekata Kendra joined the protest rally that started from Maitighar Mandala and converged at Baneshwor. The protest was joined by the supporters of various political youth groups like Deshbhakta People's Democratic Front and Nepali for Nepal.

The joint protest under the 'MCC scrap protest campaign' had displayed banners that read, 'Accepting MCC agreement is accepting neo-colonisation', 'accepting MCC will take the country to instability and conflict', and 'scrap the anti-national MCC'. Hundreds of protesters who joined the programme displayed placards that read 'We hate MCC', 'Reject MCC' 'Go Back MCC', 'Stop arresting for protesting against MCC', and 'Nation, nationality and dignity is life of Nepalis', among others.

The protest programme was organised under the leadership of communist leaders CP Gajurel and CP Mainali.

The MCC agreement has sparked heated debate in recent times following the ousting of former prime minister KP Sharma Oli of CPN-UML and formation of a new-coalition government under the leadership of Nepali Congress Chair Sher Bahadur Deuba.

A few days ago, CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli has slammed the government asking PM Deuba and CPN-Maoist Centre Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal their official stances on MCC. Oli, who had remained mum during his reign as the PM, has now started raising questions about it recently.

Meanwhile, the government has written to the MCC programme in Washington DC, asking it to clarify some confusion.

The government has also asked the US to provide clarification to know if the MCC is part of an American defence policy, also called the Indo-Pacific Strategy. Meanwhile, CPN-Maoist Chair Dahal, who is in the coalition government, has claimed that MCC is being used as a conspiracy tool to break the ruling alliance.

"Conspiracies are being hatched to split the ruling coalition in the name of MCC,"

Dahal said during a programme here today. He, however, also reiterated that MCC could not be endorsed without necessary amending.

A version of this article appears in the print on September 9 2021, of The Himalayan Times.