Front told not to rake up issue of local bodies

Kathmandu, May 30:

Political party leaders and the Maoists today urged the seven-party alliance not to

make revival of local bodies an issue as that might affect the on-going peace process.

While the leaders of the seven political parties are yet to come to a conclusion on the issue of local bodies, Maoist leaders have already shown stark disapproval, saying that the reinstatement might drive the Maoists back to the jungle. Lekhraj Bhatta, a central committee member of CPN-Maoists, said the revival of local bodies in the changed context would invite unexpected consequences. He was speaking at the Reporters’ Club today. “We will go against the illogical decision because it will only ignite conflict again,” he said, adding it will widen the distance between the seven-party alliance and the Maoists, and at the same time encourage violence in remote areas.

“The Maoists have a hold over 80 per cent of the country where we have People’s Government. So, there is no need for new local bodies and if local bodies are revived, it will only invite conflict.”

“When talks are taking place, and when people are waiting for the chance to take part in writing a new constitution, one should not show eagerness to revive small issues,” he said.

Sunil Kumar Bhandari, a NC leader, said the local bodies should be reinstated, but not in “as it was” form but in an all-party set-up, which will include the Maoists. “Any decision should be taken only after coming to an agreement among all agents,” he said. Shankar Pokhrel of UML said revival of the local bodies is the first stage of the change, while forming an interim government, including representatives from the Maoists is the second. “Since we are in the first stage of the political development, the Maoists should not object to it and make an issue to disturb the peace process,” he said.

Prakash Sharan Mahat from NC(D) said his party would not prefer to make reinstatement of local bodies an issue and requested both the seven-party alliance as well as the Maoists to sit for several rounds until a negotiable conclusion is found.

“Since we have a big and challenging goal ahead, we should not be disturbed by such issues which does not make any sense in the whole process,” he said.