Kathmandu, January 19:

Accusing the Election Commission (EC) of not giving election symbols to smaller parties, the Rastrabadi Milan Kendra (RMK) today said the municipal elections slated for February 8 may not be held in a free and fair manner.

“How can we expect that elections will be held in a free and fair manner at a time when the EC has discriminated against us by not giving us election symbols,” Ganesh Bahadur Pandey, the RMK president, said at a press conference organised here today.

However, he said the RMK had decided to field candidates at 48 out of 58 municipalities for the municipal elections.“We will announce the names of our candidates by next week,” said Pandey. Millions of rupees should not be spent in the name of the Royal Commission for Corruption Control if it was to be kept defunct, Pandey said. The RMK has decided to demand resignations of all the members of the council of ministers because they failed to keep up the spirit of the royal proclamation of February 1, Pandey said.

Vice-president of the party, Keshav Prasad Adhikary, said the government has imposed curfew at a time when people are making preparations for municipal polls. Terming the declaration of restricted areas and invitation to parties for talks “ploys worked out by the ministers to defame the monarch,” he called on the monarch to fire all the ministers.