Oli reminds Nepali Congress of past agreement, urges Koirala to withdraw candidacy

KATHMANDU: CPN-UML Chairman and prime ministerial candidate KP Sharma Oli has urged Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala to withdraw his candidacy and move ahead  along with the spirit of unity and cooperation.

Speaking at the Legislature-Parliament before the prime ministerial election on Sunday, he reminded Nepali Congress of the past agreement regarding the change of guard of the government after the promulgation of new Constitution, and stressed on the need for moving ahead unitedly to implement the new constitution, amend some provisions in it, enact new laws and amend the old laws on a par with the new charter.

The House meeting, which was scheduled for 11 am, started with a delay of one-and-half hours as the parties were busy holding meetings at the last hour prior to the election.

Referring to the much-talked about gentlemen's agreement,  Oli said there was a deal among the top leaders of major parties in the past. "There is significance of agreement and commitment in politics and democracy," he said.

He recalled that he was proposer of Nepali Congress President Koirala's candidacy in the prime ministerial election in February 2014, mentioned that the Nepali Congress formed the government in his party CPN-UML's support.

"I feel sad to see Nepali Congress candidate having no proposer now," he quipped.

I would like to make an appeal to you (Sushil Koirala) to withdraw your candidacy, he said, adding that many leaders and members of parliament within the Nepali Congress are in favour of agreement and cooperation. "The country is also looking for that."

"Even if you did not withdraw the candidacy also," Oli said in a conciliatory tone, "No stones would be left unturned from my side to seek (your) support. For national unity, development and democracy, I believe Nepali Congress too will lend support (to me)."

He further assured all political parties, notwithstanding whether they would cast vote for him or not, of recognising them accordingly.

There is a misconception about me, he said, that I am anti-Tarai/Madhesh and narrowminded. "I will prove all such misconceptions wrong through my activities."

Saying he was vying for the premiership not just for the sake of record, Oli said he wanted to do something tangible. He further stressed on the need for addressing the concerns raised by different communities in different parts of the country, the use of all resources for the development, reconstruction of Nepal in the wake of devastating earthquake and the good governance.

Also, he said he wanted to resolve the differences and build up amicable relationship with the neighbours, hinting at India and the ongoing obstruction in Nepal-India border.

"For this, national unity among political parties, people's representatives and other agencies is a must."

He further added that all genuine demands of all side would be met.

"The parties and lawmakers who will vote for me will not have to regret in the future," he said and added in a light note that the ones who would not vote, however, would feel bad later for not doing so after seeing his performance.

"Nepali Congress failed"

The proposer of Oli's candidacy, UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also expressed unhappiness over Koirala's candidacy, which he said, was against the spirit of unity and agreement among the major parties.

According to him, the agreement was to promulgate constitution with Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala as the prime minister and elect CPN-UML Chairman to form a new government subsequently.

"I am sad that Nepali Congress has failed badly," the former prime minister said.

National consensus is a need of the hour, he said, "Others are trying to divide and ruin us."

"Choice is ours whether to choose the path of Janga Bahadur Rana or Bhimsen Thapa."

Unity stressed

Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal Chairman, Kamal Thapa, who is the seconder of Oli's candidacy, and other supporters including Deepak Bohora of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, CP Mainali of CPN-ML, Chitra Bahadur KC of Rastriya Janamorcha, Bishwendra Paswan, Prem Bahadur Singh and Shivalal Thapa of other fringe parties stressed on the unity among the parties for the implementation of new constitution.

Most of them appreciated Koirala's role in the promulgation of new charter but expressed unhappiness over his decision to contest for the premiership against Oli -- reneging on the gentlemen's agreement.


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