Consensus with UDMF on cards: PM

Kathmandu, March 30

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today said the government had been working to forge consensus with the United Democratic Madhesi Front, an alliance of agitating Madhesi parties, within a couple of days.

In a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner Ayodhi Prasad Yadav and other election commissioners held at his official residence, the PM told election commissioners that the government was serious about holding local level elections on scheduled and make it acceptable for all.

According to the PM’s Press Adviser Govinda Acharya, the PM assured the commissioners that the government was committed to providing all possible support to the Election Commission to make local level polls slated for May 14 successful.

The PM brushed aside security concerns of EC commissioners. “The PM asked us not to worry about the security situation,” said Election Commissioner Narendra Dahal. .

“The PM said the government was ready to ensure security in all the 744 local levels,” Acharya told THT.

Earlier, CEC Yadav briefed the PM about the EC’s poll preparedness. He said the EC would impart election preparation training to security agencies. He added that officers of Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and National Investigation Department and officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defence would attend the two-day training.

The EC’s Information Officer Surya Prasad Aryal said after the EC training, security officials would train their subordinates. The PM told them that the government had been working to create conducive environment for local level polls and told the commissioners that poll fever had already gripped local levels.

According to Aryal, the EC has completed central and regional level training for government employees, teachers, civil servants and staffers serving in public institutions. The EC has decided to provide poll-related training to over 126,000 government employees, teachers and civil servants before mobilising them for elections.

The UDMF, on the other hand, has threatened to foil local level elections if held without addressing demands put forth by the front.

The PM, however, was upbeat and gave election commissioners the go-ahead to hold local level polls on the stipulated date.