Maoists must mend ways for CA poll success: Deuba

Nepalgunj, January 20:

Former Prime Minister and president of the Nepali Congress-Democratic (NC-D) Sher Bahadur Deuba today said constituent assembly elections would not be possible in stipulated time “if the Maoists do not change their conduct”.

Addressing a press meet organised by the Banke chapter of the Press Union here, Deuba said, “Whether CA polls would be held on time or not depends entirely on the Maoists.”

Stating that the Maoists are still using weapons even after entering the interim legislature, Deuba said, “The Maoists were indulging in extortion and they haven’t yet returned captured land and property. Political parties are still unable to organise programmes in villages due to the fear of the Maoists.”

He said the ongoing peace process would not be complete until the Maoists returned captured land and gave up violent activities like extortion and abduction. “We will be able to realise peace in true sense only when the Maoists stop extortion, return captured property and give up arms completely,” Deuba said.

He added that the Maoists should not be included in the interim government until arms management process was over. Deuba also criticised the Maoists for hurrying to join parliament without completing arms management. “We were against it but three parties gave their consent,” he said.

Initiatives for the unification of Nepali Congress and NC-D will be taken only after the announcement of CA poll date, he said.

Meanwhile, Deuba condemned yesterday’s incident in Lahan where an MJF activist was allegedly shot dead by the Maoists. “The Maoist cadres still carrying weapons is a serious issue,” Deuba said, adding, “When they have joined political mainstream it is the government’s responsibility to provide them security. They should not be carrying guns.”