Fourth phase of protests against foreign powers, says Prakash

KATHMANDU: UCPN-Maoist vice-chairman Narayankaji Shrestha "Prakash" today said that his party's fourth phase of agitation would zero in on the "protection of national independence and against the foreign interference in the nation's internal affairs".

"Regional hegemony still prevails in Nepal's internal affairs. So, it's high time all the nationalist forces united to combat the foreign interference," Shrestha said.

Speaking at a programme in the capital, he said that President Dr Ram Baran Yadav had taken the unconstitutional move to reinstate the then army chief at the behest of foreign powers. "The President's move had aimed at compelling us to surrender before the foreign powers and to impose a presidential rule after derailing the ongoing peace process," he maintained.

Shrestha said that they would change the tactic of their agitation in Legislature-Parliament from December 23. The parliamentary party meeting slated for Wednesday would take decision with the regard, he added.

Speaking on the occasion, leaders of the ruling CPN-UML and Nepali Congress, however, said that the Maoists' ongoing agitation had nothing to do with restoring "civilian supremacy".

"All they (Maoists) want is to regain the power that they lost following the President's move," said Keshav Badal, a UML leader.

He challenged the Maoists to prove their majority in the parliament if they wanted to come back to power. He also dared to table an impeachment motion if the President's move on the then army chief was unconstitutional.

NC leader Manmohan Bhattarai said that the Maoists wanted to capture the country's all resources in the name of restoring "civilian supremacy". "Their current street protests have no theoretical and ideological bases," Bhattarai said.