Nepal to PM: Quit if polls can’t be held

Kathmandu, May 6:

General secretary of the CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal today said Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala must step down if he thinks he will not be able to hold constituent assembly elections even in November.

“The person, who has been leading the interim government, must give up if he is unable to conduct constituent assembly elections for which he was elected unopposed by parliament,” Nepal said.

He was addressing a function to mark the first death anniversary of martyr Anil Kumar Lama, who was killed during Jana Andolan-II at Bauddha.

Nepal said the assembly elections could have been held in June had the PM and the Nepali Congress been “sincere” enough.

The UML chief added that the NC did not want to hold the elections on June 20 as it feared losing to Leftist forces. He said his party is ready to accept any date within November.

He said it was wrong to put equal blame on all constituents of the eight-party alliance for the poll delay. The party which had a lion’s share in the seven-party government and the interim government must be held responsible for the delay, Nepal said.

However, he also stressed the need to consolidate the 8-party unity for a republican set-up, restructuring of the state, a federal system of governance and a new constitution through the assembly elections.

Maya Lama, the widow of Anil Kumar, expressed her sadness that the parties, who led the April movement, did not pay attention to the hardships faced by bereaved families.

Khanal threatens protests

LAMJUNG: CPN (UML) leader Jhalanath Khanal on Sunday said his party would stage protests in the streets if the constituent assembly polls were delayed further. Speaking at a gathering of UML cadres at Besishahar, Khanal said: “If the already delayed polls are not held even in mid-November, the UML will stage street agitations.” Stating that unity among leftist forces was very much possible, Khanal said: “The chances of unity between the UML and the Maoists are increasing. However, the Maoists must avoid extremism and give up their abrasiveness.” — HNS