Sthapit joining stir?

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, April 19:

Mayor of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City Keshav Sthapit today said he was under a tremendous stress as ‘some high-level political figures’ were urging him to join the ongoing five-party movement against regression. Sthapit was an active figure in the CPN (UML) leadership before quitting the party to become the capital city’s mayor in November. Sthapit is not affiliated to any party at present though his deputy and most of the ward chairmen represent Rastriya Prajatantra Party.

Sthapit was sharing his mental burden with the ward chairmen after a KMC board meeting. Without naming the political figures, he said intellectuals wanted him to join the movement and lead the Newars as little interest was shown by the local Newars in the fight against the King’s October 4, 2002, move. “I’m a political person. I have come here to build the city sacrificing my political career. Now, time has come for me to make a miraculous decision,” he said. Quoting the “political figures” he said that he would be labelled as the King’s man if he refused to join the political forces and damage his whole future. Sthapit, however, refused to give any hint which side he would take in the five-party agitation against regression, in case he joins the movement. “We are here from different political backgrounds and committed to work for the city. But the situation has come that we may have to take a middle path so that we can meet our goal and survive this intricate situation,” he added. Sthapit, however, added that he will collect opinion from his well-wishers before taking any decision in this regard.