Prachanda woos GPK again to join ruling coalition

Kathmandu, March 3:

In a bid to reconcile differences with main opposition Nepali Congress on contentious issues, PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal today met with NC president Girija Prasad Koirala at the latter’s residence at Maharajgunj.

“Prachanda proposed the NC to join the government but NC rejected it,” said NC vice president Ram Chandra Paudel who was also present in the meeting. During the meeting, Prachanda assured Koirala of calling the winter session of the legislature parliament by March 28 as demanded by the NC.

After NC president Koirala expressed objection to the ‘unilateral’ decision of declaring martyrs, PM Prachanda said that all the families of 13,000 people who were killed during the decade-long conflict would be incorporated in the government’s relief programme.

After the meeting, NC leader Paudel organised a press conference and said, “The government’s arbitrary declaration of martyrs has disgraced genuine martyrs. The declaration is against accepted principles and past agreements.” He said that Rs 125,000 relief should be provided to all the families of those killed during the conflict as per the commitment of the previous government. “There should not be arbitrary declaration of martyrs. Instead, those killed during the conflict should be provided with relief,” he added.

During the meeting, NC leaders accused the government of defying past agreements by forming committees and commissions unilaterally. “We objected to the ‘unilateral’ formation of Name committee recommend names for commission on missing people. Though the PM expressed commitment to incorporate all parties in the commission, he did not

indicate anything about dissolving the recommendation committee,” said Paudel.

The cabinet on Friday had formed the committee headed by Maoist lawmaker Padam Lal Bishwakarma.

Koirala also expressed dissatisfaction at the PM’s tendency to ignore past commitments. The PM reiterated that the agreements would be implemented with utmost sincerity. “The government and the Maoist party have already issued strict directives to party cadres and local units to return the property seized during the conflict,” Paudel quoted the PM as saying. In a statement, the NC said, “There should be consensus and cooperation while deciding on fundamental principles of democracy for the new constitution and on other important issues including state restructuring.”

Commenting on Maoists’ purposed draft of the new constitution, NC leader Paudel said, “We have disagreement with the provision of conditions specified in the draft to form a political party.”

Forbidding anybody from forming a political party by labelling someone as ‘feudal’ and ‘not progressive ‘ was against fundamental rights and democratic principles, he said.

NC also accused the government of making arbitrary transfers of civil servants and pressurising civil servants for voluntary retirement.

“This is against the principle of independent state mechanism,” the NC statement reads. The Nepali Congress has urged the government and all concerned to hold the upcoming student union elections in free and fair manner.