Maoist threat spurs local reps’ resignation

Ishwar Khanal

Kathmandu, May 19:

Many local representatives handpicked by the Surya Bahadur Thapa government have been quitting their posts due to the Maoist threats. The number is increasing everyday. The mayor of Dhulikhel Municipality resigned yesterday. Sources insist more will follow him. Mayors of Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) and Banepa Municipality are likely to "resign pretty soon", most probably on Thursday. Sthapit, who had announced to quit today, "was busy convincing his deputy into resigning," a source close to him conceded.

However, Kirtipur mayor, Shisir Dhital, is not in a mood to call it a day unless a new government is formed. "I will not resign until a new government is formed," he told this daily, denying he received direct threats from the Maoists. "We have been reading it in newspapers only," he said. A source at the Ministry of Local Development said six mayors, six deputy mayors and one District Development Committee (DDC) chairman have resigned till today. Interestingly, the ministry did not have the record of the Dhulikhel mayor. The ministry, however, has updated record concerning mayors of Rajbiraj, Kamalamai, Lalitpur, Prithivi Narayan, Baglung and Ramagram municipalities — all of whom have resigned. Deputy mayors of Nepalgunj, Baglung, Birgunj, Ramgram, Butwal and Tribhuwan municipalities have quit the posts so far. Most of them have cited "personal commitments" and " unfolding political scenario" as reasons behind their resignation. They are hesitant to say they have received death threats from the Maoists.