Elites urge King to grant joint audience to leaders

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 11:

When the King and leaders of the five agitating political parties have locked horns, members of the intelligentsia have suggested the King to grant collective audience to the leaders. They said individual audience would only widen the gap between the King and the political parties. They also suggested the parties to promptly propose a name for prime minister from among them during the collective audience. “The all-party government would then resolve the Maoist problem, maintain peace and security in the country,” said Himalaya SJB Rana, the first governor of the Nepal Rastra Bank, at an interaction organised by the Reporters’ Club here today. Rana, however, labelled parties’ 18-point agenda as “impractical”.

Dr Mrigendra Raj Pandey emphasised on the “immediate consensus” among the political forces and the King. “Who becomes the prime minister is a secondary issue,” he said.

Dr Sunder Mani Dixit prescribed two suggestions to the political parties during the audience — restoration of democracy and picking a common name for the prime minister. Dixit warned that the republican slogans being raised in the streets would intensify if the students’ power is undermined. President of Nepal University Teachers’ Association Khagendra Bhattarai wondered why the King was hesitating to grant a joint audience to the leaders. Dr Tulasi Bhattarai, member secretary of the Royal Nepal Academy, and Dr Manohar Prasad Gupta, president of Nepal Medical Association, asked the leaders to choose a common name for the next prime minister. Human rights activist Sudip Pathak suggested the King to accept parties’ proposal positively.