PM Dahal asks UML to put off Mechi-Mahakali campaign

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Wednesday asked the CPN-UML to put off its Mechi-Mahakali campaign for some days, saying Madhes region was tense in the wake of Monday's fatal incident in Saptari.

In a meeting with the top leaders of three major parties -- Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and his party CPN Maoist Centre, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal stated that an uneasy situation has developed in the country after the Saptari incident and the main opposition needs to be part of efforts to resolve it by putting off the party's campaign.

In the meeting, Prime Minister Dahal briefed the leaders about the five-point memorandum that the UDMF handed over to him earlier today.

Referring to the ongoing agitation in Tarai-Madhes region and the UDMF's seven-day ultimatum, Prime Minister Dahal opined that the major parties have to build up a common view on the burning national issues.

CPN-UML leaders, in response, asked the Prime Minister to ensure security to the party's programmes, a statement issued by the PM's Secretariat said.

Emerging from the meeting, CPN-UML Vice-Chairman Bam Dev Gautam said his party maintained that the local level elections should be held as per the announced schedule.

Protesting the arson attacks and targeted vandalism on CPN-UML's offices and cadres, Gautam said, the leaders drew the Prime Minister's attention towards the apparent absence of government in the Tarai districts. According to him, the UML leadership asked the Prime Minister whether its leaders and cadres should bank on the government for their security.

Prime Minister Dahal had invited the leaders to review the political situation in the country.

Four persons died after being hit by bullets in police action after protesters tried to disrupt CPN-UML's programme near Rajbiraj. In protest, Madhesi parties have called a two-day shutdown in Tarai districts.

President Sher Bahadur Deuba, DPM Bimalendra Nidhi, Prakash Man Singh, Krishna Prasad Sitaula from Nepali Congress; Chairman KP Sharma Oli, former Prime Ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhala Nath Khanal, Vice-Chairman Bam Dev Gautam from CPN-UML and former DPM Narayan Kaji Shrestha were among the leaders who took part in the meeting.