Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, June 21:

The decision of the seven agitating parties to boycott the municipal polls have dominated all fora with leaders of major parties remaining firm on their stand, while others suggesting that they take part in the polls. CPN-UML leader Jhalanath Khanal and Nepali Congress (NC) leader Gopal Pahadi were rigid on their stance at a Reporters’ Club interaction today when they blasted the government of “conspiracy” by holding “fake” elections to strengthen its autocratic tenure. Khanal said the parties would take part in the polls provided the government met some conditions, including dissolution of the government and district and zonal chiefs, and an end to all forms of restriction. Demanding an end to the “King’s autocracy”, he asked the King to “act” according to the people’s wishes and suggested the King “set-up” a new party and join in if he had any interest in politics. “We are ready to accept the challenge,” he said. Khanal emphasised elections to a constituent assembly were the only way to bail the country out from crises.

However, Rastriya Prajatantra Party leader Bhuwan Pathak, Rastriya Janashakti Party’s Sarbendra Nath Shukla, and political figure Keshar Bahadur Bista pointed out that boycotting of polls would be unfortunate for the country as election was the basis of democracy.

Meanwhile, a report from Banke quoted Nepali Congress spokesperson Arjun Narsingh KC as saying that constant support of the media and the bar association was necessary to make the seven-party alliance’s agitation to restore full democracy in the country a success. Addressing a press conference organised by the Nepali Congress district executive committee, Banke, today, KC said the movement launched by the press and the bar association has provided immense support to the cause of restoring full democracy.

7-parties’ meet today

Pokhara: Senior leaders of the seven agitating parties are scheduled to address a mass meeting in Pokhara on Wednesday. NC president Girija Prasad Koirala, CPN-UML general-secretary Madhav Nepal, acting president of NC-D Gopalman Shrestha and Chitra Bahadur Ale of Janamorcha Nepal, among others, will address the mass at Chipledhunga. Meanwhile, RSS reported from Sarlahi that Nepal has ruled out the possibility of collaboration between the Maoists and the agitating parties. Speaking at a meet organised today by Press Chautari Nepal, Sarlahi, he asked the Maoists to give up arms and participate in the dialogue to end the conflict. — Agencies