KATHMANDU: Presenting his candidacy for new Nepali Prime Minister, the sole contender CPN Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal said he would try to lead the nation toward economic development while moving ahead with the spirit of national consensus during his premiership.

He said the candidacy itself was meant to strengthen the national consensus among parties to solve all the problems including concerns of Madhesi parties and challenges of post-earthquake reconstruction.

Answer to Oli

Meanwhile, Dahal criticised the outgoing Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for what he said in his valedictory speech which the latter had presented at the Parliament last week.

Answering some questions that Oli had put forth during his speech, Dahal said the new government would give continuity to development projects and agreements signed with neighbouring nations as the Maoist party itself was a significant part of the government.

Adding that the development projects were not actually initiated by the Oli government, but by other previous governments, he said the next governments would also give continuity.

He accused Oli to trying to prove historical facts wrong and presenting himself as the visionary leader during the July 24 speech.

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Assures continuation of development projects

Dahal said the new government should focus on making the nation economically independent. "Dear Prime Minister," he questioned Oli referring to his last week's speech, "Is not it our responsibility to move together to generate resources for the national development?"

"How long can we imagine "resource-less" development?" he questioned, adding the new government would focus on generating resources for development projects from foreign sources as domestic capital would not be sufficient to fund them currently.

"We will do it (continue the development projects)," the would-be prime minister said in response to Oli's question if the new government would continue projects initiated by his government, "But, we need your support for that, Dear Prime Minister."

The Maoist leader said the new government would carry out development projects across the nation without considering any political bias.

New dreams

Nonetheless, Dahal commented that some of the plans Oli floated were impossible and they would remain just dreams. He maintained that the government would bring an economic development plan based on concretely available financial resources, but pronounced some other dreams before the lawmakers.

Presenting Nepal as a nation of diversity and full of development potential, Dahal said he would search for new possibilities after being elected the Prime Minister. Nepal could study modernisation of agriculture practised in neighbouring nations of India and China and adapt it in Nepal, he hoped.

Likewise, Dahal expressed his hope about a remarkable economic development from tourism, claiming around two billion people from across the world currently want to visit Nepal.

Self-reflection

Meanwhile, Dahal spent some minutes to reflect on his past life and claimed he always had a commitment to "fight for the nation and people" till the last minute of his life.

Presenting himself as a dynamic and pro-change leader, he said he was capable of leading the nation to development by dealing with all political problems facing the nation, together in cooperation with all political parties.

Ending his nearly one-hour speech, Dahal reminded that all political parties were on the same boat and they would all drown together if the boat sank.

Nepali Congress support

Speaking after him, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, who had proposed Dahal's nomination for the Prime Minister, hoped that the Maoist leader would make the new Constitution all-acceptable as the CPN Maoist Centre and the Nepali Congress had recently reached an agreement with agitating Madhesi parties.

Deuba said the Constitution could not be implemented unless it was accepted by all political forces of the nation.

A hopeful Deuba said the new government would convince major political forces of the nation to work together for implementation of the Constitution and conclusion of the peace process, thereby establishing "eternal peace."

President of the largest political party in the Parliament said Nepal should make establishing a good relationship with two neighbours as the foundation of the nation's foreign policy. He said the new government would move ahead toward that end.

He urged the outgoing Prime Minister Oli and his party, CPN-UML, to take the government change in a peaceful way as a beautiful practice in a democracy.

Other seconders' support

After Deuba, CPN Maoist Centre's Krishna Bahadur Mahara addressed the House as a seconder of Dahal's nomination and urged all to vote for him.

Mahara said the new government would strive to achieve national consensus to solve current political problems of the nation.

He said Dahal's leadership was necessary to rid the nation of significant national challenges, to ensure implementation of the Constitution and to conclude the peace process, by taking all political forces into confidence.

Likewise, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav informed the House that the Federal Alliance, a bloc of parties protesting the Constitution under his leadership, just signed an agreement with the CPN MC and the Nepali Congress with a hope that the new government would address their concerns.

Yadav was hopeful that the new government would not repeat the mistakes committed by the previous government about ignoring constitutional issues raised by the parties and stick to the commitment the NC-Maoists made with the protesters.

Yogendra Chaudhary of the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic said his party would also extend support to the government as it would help build national consensus. The party is led by outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, who had announced to leave the government just a day before Oli was about to face the no-confidence vote at the House last week.

Parshuram Tamang of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Jayadev Joshi of CPN-United, Rukmini Chaudhary Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch-Tharuhat, Prem Bahadur Singh of Samajbadi Janata Party, Hari Charan Sah of Nepali Janata Dal, Ram Kumar Rai of Khumbuwan Rastriya Morcha, Kumar Khadka of Akhanda Nepal Party, Lokmani Dhakal of Jana Jagaran Party, Yasoda Kumari Lama of Dalit Janajati Party and independent lawmaker Chandreshwor Jha also extended support to Dahal's nomination.