NC split over joining Maoist-led govt

Kathmandu, April 22:

Leaders of the Nepali Congress are divided over the issue of joining the new government going to be formed under the leadership of the CPN-Maoist.

NC central leader Shekhar Koirala, who is also nephew of the party president and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala, said: “Congress leaders are sharply divided over the issue and each group has strong reasons to support its stance.”

“I personally feel there is no harm in joining the Maoist-led government if they meet certain conditions, including Maoists’ strict adherence to peace agreements, returning of all seized property and dissolution of parallel state mechanisms,” he said.

“The Maoist leadership must make the Young Communist League cadres renounce violence, which they have been indulging in even after the elections,” he added.

Dr Shanshak Koirala, on the other hand, has publicly stated that the party should pay more attention on consolidating the its base than joining the government.

NC leaders, Minister for Peace and Reconciliation Ram Chandra Poudel and Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat want the NC to be a part of the new government.

“The Maoists have not even secured a simple majority, and the issue of which parties will join the government is trivial. Consensus is the only way out since two-third majority is needed to endorse a new constitution,” he said.

NC General Secretary Gopal Man Shrestha said the party should not join the government led by the Maoists until they fulfil certain conditions.

“It all depends on how they transform themselves. They have to dissolve the YCL, sincerely accept multiparty system and should tolerate opponents,” he said.

NC joint general secretary and spokesman Arjun Narsingh KC and Laxman Prasad Ghimire are of the view that the party should not join the Maoist-led government.

Ghimire went on to claim, “If reports pouring in from across the country are anything to go by, 99.9 per cent of the party activists do not want the party to join the Maoist-led government.”

“The Maoists have not adhered to the previous agreements. Now why should we believe that they would accept the conditions? Still, why should it be presumed that they would lead the government in the first place. They have not even secured a simple majority,” he added.

Leaders including Govinda Raj Joshi, Khum Bahadur Khadka, Chiranjivi Wagle also do not want the party to join the Maoist-led government, according to the party sources.