NC won’t stay off PLA adjustment panel: Badal

Kathmandu, December 6:

Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’ today expressed hope that the main opposition Nepali Congress would join the constitutional committee formed for the adjustment of PLA combatants, as they had already sorted out the contentious issues.

“The government believes that the NC will join the Special Committee as there is no dispute over its Terms of Reference and representation,” he told mediapersons after addressing a function organised to mark the eighth anniversary of the establishment of Athar Magarat Magar Academy.

Asked whether the government had agreed to ensure equal representation of the major parties in the Special Committee, Badal said that was not a big issue, as any decision to that effect would be taken on a consensus basis.

He, however, said they wanted to include the Peace and Reconstruction Minister as an ex-officio member in the committee because he is the line minister to deal with the Maoist combatants and peace process. He reminded that the Peace and Reconstruction Minister used to represent all panels related to the peace process when NC president Girija Prasad Koirala led the coalition government.

Badal said the ethnic communities were now gearing up to gain their lost glory. “The Magars had played a leading role in making the modern Nepal,” he said, adding, “But their language, culture and identity were ignored by the unitary and centralised state.” Language, culture and identity can be best preserved in federal system of governance, he said.

Elaborating the recent decision taken by the party’s national-level cadres’ meet, Badal said his party wanted to establish a political system that would serve interests of the downtrodden. “It is based on federalism with democratic norms and values,” Badal said. He added that the new Nepal should protect nationalism without external influence and without any forms of monarchy. “That’s why we have set the tactical slogan of People’s Federal Democratic Nationalistic Republic,” Badal said.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Communications Krishna Bahadur Mahara hoped that the federal structure of governance would serve interests of the ethnic communities by preserving their languages, culture and identity.