Adhikari for party’s focus on joint agitation

Kathmandu, August 21:

Former deputy prime minister and standing committee member of the CPN-UML, Bharat Mohan Adhikari, today urged the ongoing ninth central committee meeting to dedicate the party’s time and energy to the joint stir launched by the seven-party alliance against King Gyanendra. He, however, added that the next monsoon would be an appropriate time to hold the party’s eighth general convention. “I have asked the party and the seven-party alliance that the concept of the ‘total democracy’ should be well-defined to remove any confusion present therein,” Adhikari told this daily at the end of today’s session of the meeting. The best definition of total democracy, he said, is that the King should remain within the parameters of parliament and that the army should be fully accountable to the elected government.

“Ideologically, the CPN-UML is a party which believes in a republican set-up,” he said, adding,

“But we agreed to respect constitutional monarchy after late King Birendra vowed to abide by the people’s supremacy embodied by an elected parliament.” Commenting on party general secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal’s political report, Adhikari said it was not necessary for the party to follow the principle of constitutional monarchy when the King violates Constitution, which, he said, was a document of a tripartite agreement reached between the King, Nepali Congress and United Left Front. He said people have been drifting towards a republic due to the King’s February 1 takeover and the imposition of direct rule. “We also do not accept a King who is heard and seen,” he said, borrowing from the King’s own words. He said he was hopeful of holding dialogue with Maoists because of the latter’s latest stance of commitment to competitive multiparty society and a peaceful movement. Other CPN-UML stalwarts who spoke on the occasion were Sahana Pradhan, Ashok Rai, Rana Dhwaj Kandangwa, Bhim Acharya, Gopal Shakya, Hemraj Rai, Prithvi Subba, Radha Gyawali, Dilli Mahat, Kiran Gurung and Chhabilal Bishwokarma.