Maoists not sincere in statute drafting: UML secy

KATHMANDU:CPN-UML secretary Yuvraj Gyawali today accused the main opposition, Unified CPN-Maoist of not being sincere in adopting the new constitution within the limit set by the Interim Constitution. The constitution states that the statute should be adopted by May 28.

"Maoist chairman Prachanda's statement that 'the sky won't fall' even if the new constitution is not adopted on time indicates that the party is not serious about promulgating the statute meeting the deadline," Gyawali said. He made this remark at a function organised by the Lalitpur chapter of the UML-aligned Press Chautari to felicitate its newly-elected central committee members.

"The Maoists should be held responsible if the constitution is not adopted on time," Gyawali said, urging all political parties to focus on drafting the constitution as the Constituent Assembly had little time. He said the parties could discuss key contentious issues of the constitution at the High Level Political Mechanism, headed by Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala.

Addressing the function, Chautari president Gagan Bista said the Maoists were against press freedom, as they had stood against making the privilege an unchangeable part of the new constitution. Bista said the main challenge of the transitional period was implementing the Working Journalists' Act in order to safeguard the mediapersons' rights.

Newly elected general secretary of the Chautari, Bishnu Rijal and other members also aired views on the challenges and opportunities of Nepal's media. As the chief guest, Gyawali felicitated the new office bearers with Khada -- a strip of silk cloth traditionally used by the Buddhists for felicitation.