Says curbing crime by 50 pc a fortnight’s job

Kathmandu, August 1:

Standing committee member of the CPN-UML Bamdev Gautam today said the law and order situation across the country will not improve as long as the Home Ministry remains with the Nepali Congress.

“Instances of killing, abduction and extortion, including the Gaur massacre, suggest that the Home Ministry handled by the NC has failed to restore law and order.”“If the UML is given the ministry, we will bring down such incidents by 50 per cent within a fortnight.” He said the royalists will take advantage of the situation if CA elections are not held on November 22.

“The NC now doubts holding the elections and is raising the issue of the deteriorating law and order situation, while the Maoists are insisting on declaring a republic before the polls. But both the assertions are wrong when the nation is gearing up for the polls,” he said at the Reporters’ Club.

Asked about the possibility of a Left alliance before the polls, Gautam said the eight parties must make an alliance for a republic. “We are just waiting for the NC and others to come up with their official stance on a republic. If they do not decide on it, the Leftist alliance may not be ruled out,” he said.

On the high-handedness of the Young Communist League, Gautam urged the Maoist leadership to bring about changes so that the group plays the role of a youth wing of the party, rather than a militia outfit.

NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC said the polls should be held in such a manner that they are acceptable nationally and internationally. He said he doesn’t agree with party president and PM Girija Prasad Koirala’s assertion that “in abnormal situations, elections will also be held in an abnormal way.” “Abnormal elections” will have no legitimacy, he said.

KC said deployment of the army in the Tarai will further complicate matters.

Dr Indrajit Rai, a military expert, however, suggested the government deploy the army before and during the polls. “Nepali Army should be deployed in the Tarai following a consensus among the parties so as to compel the armed groups to come to the talks table.” He warned that many candidates could be killed and election booths captured in many places if the army was not deployed during the elections.