PM wooing fringe parties

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Saturday sped up political consultations with the leaders of fringe parties and requested them to support either the UCPN-Maoist or the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum (MJF) to form the new government.

Dahal today called on Kamal Thapa, chairman of Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Ganesh Shah, chairman of CPN-UNited and Haricharan Sah of Nepali Janata Dal.

The PM himself called the trio to talk about the new government. The PM had also invited Narayan Man Bijukchhe, chairman, Nepal Workers' and Peasants' Party (NWPP) for discussion. But Bijukchhe could not meet PM as he was already scheduled to meet Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala.

The PM requested the leaders of the fringe parties to support either the CPN-Maoist or the MJF to form the new government.

"PM Dahal indirectly requested me to help the MJF to form the new government," Kamal Thapa said, after the meeting. He urged me to help establish civilian supremacy by correcting the President's decision of reinstating Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal. "The PM told me that the new government should be formed as per the interests of the Nepali people and not of the foreigners," Thapa said. He added that the party would decide on the issue tomorrow.

CPN-United's Ganesh Shah said the PM appreciated his party for not supporting the signature campaign started by the NC-UML alliance.

Meanwhile, NWPP's chairman Bijukchhe met NC president Koirala later in the evening. Koirala urged him to help the alliance led by UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

"Since the country is in a difficult situation, you should help us end the impasse and continue the peace process," Bijukchhe quoted Koirala as telling him. Bijukchhe assured Koirala that his party would certainly throw its weight behind the NC-UML alliance and not the UCPN-M or the MJF-led alliance, according to NC sources

However, he urged the NC-UML alliance to address the demands raised by his party.

Earlier, the two-day long central committee meeting of the NWPP decided to help the alliance which expresses firm commitment on its 18-point demands, including smooth supply of drinking water and electricity.