Budget focused on war, not on peace, says Gautam

Himalayan News Service

Kavre, July 17:

UML leader Bam Dev Gautam said today that the budget has focussed more on war than on restoring peace. Inaugurating a two-day closed session organised by the Bagmati Special Regional Coordination Committee for trainers of the All Nepal National Free Students’ Union in Dhulihhel, he said the budget has prioritised war by allocating a huge sum for buying weapons and raising the number of security forces. He said: “The Maoists are ready to give up arms provided a new constitution comes into force after an election to a constituent assembly. Why is it necessary to increase security funds at the cost of development projects? Political parties, too, are now in favour of a constituent assembly.” Gautam said if the King is really serious about restoring peace, he has to concentrate on peace talks taking into consideration the Maoists’ demands and a ceasefire. He said political parties’ stir will decide the future course of monarchy. “Monarchy and democracy cannot go together,” he further said, adding: “Only democratic forces can initiate talks with the Maoists. The King is staging a drama to receive praise from other nations by blaming the parties.” Stating that the people have become slaves after the February 1 royal takeover, Gautam claimed monarchy continues to become autocratic as long as feudalism remains in the country.