Poll hype only a ploy for militarisation: NC

Damaru Lal Bhandari

Kathmandu, January 5:

The preference of the Nepali Congress (Democratic) for elections over revival of the House of Representatives is being read by other political parties and political analysts as an indicator of militarisation in the offing.

During the central committee meeting of the NC (D), a large section of the party’s central committee kept urging for revival of the House but the party fell in line with Deuba’s stand that polls are the viable option. “Our analysis is polls are not possible. We also know that the poll ploy indicates growing militarisation of politics,” said Krishna Prasad Sitaula of the Nepali Congress (NC). Sitaula said announcing polls would compound complications and consolidate regression. He added that announcing polls now would only encourage rebels to embark on more killings and generate a backlash from the security forces.

“We know such a scenario will encourage the regime to draft more security personnel, thus spiralling defence costs and rendering civilian administration more meaningless,” Sitaula said.

Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) President Narayan Man Bijukche said, “Deuba is merely a proxy. He cannot take such a suicidal decision on his own.”

Bijukcche also said that the mandate of the polls which Deuba may announce and see through would not necessarily reflect the true aspirations of the electorate.

Even CPN-UML spokesman Pradeep Nepal said he did not think there was any possibility of polls at a juncture when there was no control of the government over the national highways.

“It is stupid to think of polls. I am sure the government is on the wrong foot when the Prime Minister is saying this,” Nepal told this daily. He, however, hedged when asked if “the elections would herald militarisation in its wake.”