King-parties dialogue positive, say leaders

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, May 20:

Most leaders claimed that the dialogue between the King and the five agitating parties was a positive beginning and had opened doors to a “possible political decision”.

But, on the other hand, they were equally suspicious of the King’s honesty on “accepting reality”.

An influential CPN-UML leader claimed that though the audience was a positive beginning and a successful step for the joint movement, giving audience and chatting would not resolve the crisis.

“The King should assure us that he is ready to remain within the constitutional parameters and will not repeat the October 4, 2002 move or nominate a prime minister,” Bamdev Gautam said. “Or else face consequences,” he warned, elaborating the parties would be compelled to pour lakhs of people on to the streets, which he said would “sweep away” everything, even the Royal Palace. Even though reinstatement of the House of Representatives is not a UML priority, Gautam said his party would be ready for that “to empower the people”.

Responding to a query regarding the probability of considering some points in the 18-point charter, central committee member of Nepali Congress, Krishna Sitaula, said the parties would not exclude even a single point “but would add some if necessary.”

He also claimed the five leaders had been ready to suggest a name for the prime ministership had the King asked them during the meeting. While Janamorcha Nepal president Amik Sherchan, and vice-president of Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandidevi) Bharat Bimal Yadav, quoted the King as

saying that it was not possible to change the prime minister every time some parties launched a movement, vice chairman

of Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Padma Sunder Lawoti, emphasised on national consensus rather than coming to the streets with a handful of people “with the same old faces”.

Daring the five leaders to visit the rural areas, he came down heavily on parties for limiting things to five parties rather than respecting other parties recognised by the Election Commission (EC). “It is ridiculous to note that the NC and UML have accepted NSP (Anandidevi) as a party while disregarding other parties recognised by the EC,” he said calling them parties of “dual character”.

Criticising the five parties for failing to understand the people’s sentiments, Lawoti mocked, “How dare you claim the right to choose a prime minister?”

Referring to the five parties’ claim to form an all-party government, Lawoti criticised them for making the prime ministerial post their cup of tea. “We cannot be your porters,” he said. He, however, said the audience was a positive step.

But Sherchan begged to differ and said he did not find the King serious.