Khanal seeks better govt performance

KATHMANDU: The ongoing central committee meeting of the ruling CPN-UML today passed the political report presented by party president Jhala Nath Khanal with suggestions given by the central committee members.

Khanal is believed to have said that the party would play a constructive role provided that the government, led by his party's senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal, guaranteed timely promulgation of the new constitution and bring the peace process to a logical conclusion.

General secretary Ishwor Pokharel's report on the party organisation was also passed by the third central committee meeting that kicked off on February 17. According to Krishna Gopal Shrestha, a central committee member, Khanal admitted his "oversight" in not discussing earlier the process to form the High Level Political Mechanism (HLPM) in the party's standing committee meeting.

Shrestha said that the meeting directed the party president to convince HLPM coordinator and Nepali Congress president GP Koirala and Maoist chairman Prachanda to include PM Nepal as a permanent invitee to the HLPM that was formed to discuss the peace and constitution-making processes and the political deadlock. Till the date, PM Nepal is only an invitee to the high-profile body.

The meeting, according to Shrestha, concluded that as the largest party in the Constituent Assembly, the UCPN-Maoist could lead the national unity government provided that it agreed to disband the Young Communist League, which has been functioning as a paramilitary force, dissolve its private force staying in the UNMIN-monitored camps and destroy the arms stored in containers before the promulgation of the new constitution.

"The UCPN-Maoist must meet these three conditions ahead of the new constitution if it expects to lead the national unity government with support from other parties," Shrestha said, adding that a party holding a private army could in no way lead the coalition government. "There is no possibility of the UCPN-M leading the new coalition government unless it transforms itself as a civilian party, as others," he said.

Today's meeting also formed a seven-member task force led by standing committee member Bharat Mohan Adhikari to come up with an action plan for the next three months. The central committee will discuss the plan to be presented by the Adhikari-panel tomorrow.

Another central committee member loyal to Khanal said the party president asked the PM to come up with a roadmap of drafting the constitution and bringing the peace process to a logical conclusion on time. "The government's responsibility will not be over by passing buck on the party leadership for what has gone wrong in the government," a central committee member quoted Khanal as saying.

Khanal also reiterated the need to forge a national consensus to bring the peace process to a logical end and to write the new constitution on time. The nation cannot move forward by keeping the main opposition at bay, Khanal is learnt to have warned.