Khanal positive on UML comeback

Kathmandu, May 16:

Newly elected general secretary of the CPN-UML Jhala Nath Khanal today said the party would be able to regain its image that it lost during the April 10 Constituent Assembly election within two years.

“We will reorganise the party and reach out to the people to regain our lost image within two years. Although we did not get desired results in the CA polls, more than 2.2 million people voted for us and it is not discouraging as has been described,” Khanal said at a function organised to mark the 15th death anniversary of former party general secretary Madan Kumar Bhandari and party organiser Jeeiv Raj Ashrit, who died in a road accident in 1993. The programme was organised by Madan-Ashrit Memorial Foundation.

He said although the party suffered debacle in the polls, the people are going to bring an end to the 240-year-old institution of monarchy, which has remained a remnant of feudalism, on May 28.

He said his party would play an effective role in the CA, which would declare the country a republic, ensure inclusive democracy, find lasting peace through the management of the Maoist arms and armies and carry out revolutionary land reform programme.

Khanal said his party lost the polls in 93 constituencies with a slim margin while finished third in 79 constituencies. “If we give new life to the party with new vision and vigour, we will be able to stage a comeback,” he said.

Addressing a similar programme in the party headquarters in Balkhu, Madahv Kumar Nepal stressed the need to move ahead unitedly to face emerging challenges. He asked the UML leadership to play an effective role in the statute-making process and to review the party’s debacle in the election.

Another UML leader Bamdev Gautam said the party suffered a setback as it refused to make an electoral alliance with other communist forces during the polls. “The party cannot regain its lost image without undergoing retrospection on its weaknesses and working out a future strategy,” Gautam said.

UML leader K P Oli stressed the need to incorporate new issues of republic, federalism, caste, ethnicity and economy to upgrade the party’s political programme — the People’s Multi-party Democracy — developed by late Bhandari. Oli said the Maoists had to accept multiparty democracy even after waging the People’s War for over a decade. People’s War did not bring any change in society, it was the peaceful movement that toppled the monarchy, he said.