Parties’ split may invite disaster, says Badu

Admits govt doled out Rs 26 lakh to media bodies

Kathmandu, January 1:

Government’s spokesperson and State Minister for Information and Communication, Dilendra Prasad Badu, today said a split among democratic forces before holding elections to constituent assembly on time could be “disastrous” for both loktantra and the country. He said the government was accelerating the “necessary process” to hold constituent assembly elections on time (mid-June).

Saying that the government was all set to table the interim constitution in the House of Representatives (HoR) “any time soon”, Badu said without elaborating, “All loktantrik forces must keep their unity intact to avoid any disaster. I urge all parties concerned to act responsibly.” Badu was speaking at an interaction at Reporters Club today. He also inaugurated the Reporters’ Club news online (www.reportersnepal. com) today.

Defending Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s statement on curtailing the prime minister’s powers, Badu said, “This idea was floated by Prime Minister Koirala to check the prime minister from becoming autocratic.”

Reacting to a query on the freed-Kamaiya’s ongiong movement in Kathmandu, Badu urged all political parties, NGOs/INGOs to cooperate with the government in resolving the problem. “Don’t make this a political issue,” he told the political parties and urged them to look into this issue on humanitarian ground.

Badu, who also defended the distribution of money from the state fund to media persons and organisations as “natural”, conceded that the present coalition government had last month distributed Rs. 26 lakhs to various media organisations, including the Federation of Nepalese Journalists (FNJ), with an aim to “boost and encourage” professionalism and quality. “There has to be a clear-cut process and policy on distribution of state money to media persons,” Badu said adding, “The process, however, has to be transparent with a clear-cut objective.”

He announced that the government was all set to table the Working Journalist (Amendment) Act in the current HoR session.