Maoist leader warns of palace ‘conspiracies’

Birgunj, May 5:

A Maoist leader today warned party leaders of conspiracies that may be hatched by the royal palace if elections to a Constituent Assembly are delayed.

Addressing a mass meeting organised by the rebels at Adarshanagar stadium here, chairman of All Nepal National Independent Students’ Union-Revolutionary (ANNISU-R) Lekh Nath Neupane said the possibility of “conspiracies against the Nepali people cannot be ruled out as the King still controls the Army.”

“A fair Constituent Assembly cannot be imagined until the Royal Nepalese Army is transformed into a National Army,” he added. Maoists have accused the political parties of accepting the reinstatement of the parliament in haste. Addressing the meet, vice-chairman of Birgunj Chamber of Commerce and Industries (CCI), Sushil Mittal, said businessmen are compelled to pay taxes to both the government and the Maoists. He urged the Maoists to stop collecting double taxes from traders.

“Maoists should look for a sustainable solution to the problems faced by the Nepali people,” Mittal said. He, however, acknowledged the Maoist support in solving labour problems in Bara and Parsa. Vice-chairman of the Maoist-aligned All Nepal Farmers’ Association, Bhakti Lamichhane and Secretary of the Federation of All Nepal Trade Unions, Rajan Timilsina, said Maoists are returning to peaceful politics to establish a democratic republic through a Constituent Assembly.

Today’s meeting was the first organised by the Maoists in the past three years. Locals from different villages in Bara, Parsa and Rautahat districts were brought in trucks, tractors and busses to attend the meeting. The chief of the ‘Maoist District People’s Government,’ Ramashraya Ram, presided over the programme.