Koirala sets terms to join govt

Biratnagar, March 23:

Girija Prasad Koirala, president, Nepali Congress and former Prime Minister, today sang an oft-repeated tune. He said that his party would not join the ruling coalition unless all past agreements were implemented pronto.

“We will consider the issue of joining the government if the conditions were fulfilled,” he said.

The octogenarian leader, who is here to campaign for the upcoming by-elections, made the NC’s stand clear.

“The Young Communist League (YCL) cadres are still resorting to atrocity. The Maoists, too, are yet to return the seized assets. Hence, we cannot join the government amid the status quo. We need to evaluate the situation before committing ourselves to any arrangement,” he said.

He hit out at Prime Minister Puspha Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ for trying to “instigate the NC” as far as joining government is concerned. “We are known to keep our promises. We will take a decision

after factoring in the gravity of the situation and popular sentiments. We will adopt a wait-and-wait policy vis-à-vis the Maoist’s activities,” he said.

Koirala’s statement came at a time when the central members of the party are debating over whether to join the Maoist-led government. Reiterating his pet theme, the veteran leader said that the struggle for democracy was not over yet. ‘The Maoists, by all means, have failed to win the democratic war,” he alleged.

He had a simplistic take about former king Gyanendra Shah’s visit to India.

“He is now independent. Hence, it doesn’t mean anything where he goes and what he does,” he said.

Later, Koirala met cadres of Morang chapter of Nepal Women Association here today. He urged them to ensure that the party could win the by-polls for Morang-5 and 7.

He is slated to return to the capital on Wednesday.