NC leader Singh proposes holding elections at all levels

Kathmandu, May 12

Nepali Congress leader Prakash Man Singh today proposed holding the elections of local bodies, provinces and the new parliament in a package.

Dates for elections at all three levels should be determined together by making laws related to them, Singh said, addressing a meeting of the Legislature-Parliament today.

He said holding local polls in November/December as announced by the government without following the provisions of the new constitution would be impractical and against the spirit of the constitution.

He blamed the CPN-UML of ignoring the Nepali Congress’s proposal for holding local polls during the time of the previous NC-led government and urged the government not to politicise distribution of relief to earthquake victims.

CPN-UML leader Amrit Bohara lauded the government’s policies and programmes presented by President Bidhya Bhandari on Sunday and called the programmes new and progressive.

Holding local elections in November/December and developing energy and infrastructure sectors are some key features of the policy, he said.

Janardan Sharma of Unified CPN-Maoist said the government’s policy and programme would help address grievances related to the constitution as it has many things envisaged in the statute.

“If we fail to change the lethargic working styles and government mechanisms, it will be difficult to implement the announced policy. So, the existing laws should be changed to bring about changes,” Sharma said.

Nepali Congress member Minendra Rijal blamed Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli of distributing dreams to the people when the government-led by him had failed to address basic problems of the people including providing shelters to earthquake victims.

“The country’s economy is deteriorating and foreign relations are in critical condition. However, the PM is distributing dreams,” Rijal said.

Rijal criticised the PM for openly criticising neighbouring countries by forgetting the basics of diplomacy. “Even the first elected prime minister BP Koirala had faced very difficult time balancing relations between India and China, however, he never criticised any of the nations. Rather, he tried to address the issues diplomatically.

However, the PM is now, criticising foreign friends openly,” Rijal said. He urged the PM to realise that national unity could not be strengthened by scolding the NC and Madhesi parties.

Prabhu Shah of UCPN-M criticised the policies and programmes for announcing baseless and unimplementable programmes. “Some of the programmes are unreal and like fiction,” he said.

CPN-UML leader Yuvraj Gyanwali suggested dividing the programmes into long and short-term programmes. Implementation is challenging but they can be implemented, he said.

NC lawmaker Nabindra Raj Joshi demanded that the government clarify on its inability to spend the budget allocated for earthquake victims and failure to control black-marketing and artificial shortages of daily essentials.

Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar is planning to conclude the discussions of the policy and programme tomorrow after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli responds to the concerns of lawmakers tomorrow itself.