Kathmandu, April 14:

President of the Nepali Congress (Democratic) Sher Bahadur Deuba today welcomed the decision of the Election Commission (EC) on the constituent assembly election. According to him, the EC announcement that polls cannot be held in June was a vindication of what he had been saying on the issue since long.

“I have been saying that the elections cannot be held given the law and order situation. The decision of the EC, therefore, comes as a welcome announcement,” Deuba, who was in Singapore, said after his arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport today.

However, while Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokharel cited lack of time for preparation as the main reason for the polls not being possible on June 20, Deuba pointed out at the poor law and order situation as the reason for the need to postpone the election. Deuba also said that it was wrong to seek the resignation of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala as he is the leader of the eight-party alliance.

Koirala has come under stringent criticism for failing to hold the election as scheduled in June.

Deuba said that the unification of the two parties, the NC and the NC(D), was still on the cards and added that it will be dealt with by him and Koirala alone.

Deuba’s statement on the parties’ merger comes hot on the heels of a meeting of leaders of both the parties held yesterday. The meeting, which was convened by NC (D) central leader Dr Narayan Khadka at his residence and was, among others, attended by NC leaders like Govind Raj Joshi and other Koirala supporters, had stressed the need for an “emotional” unification.