Chitwan, November 25

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal asked political parties to spare a grave issue such as nationalism while devising their election agenda.

Addressing a poll gathering in Bijayanagar today, the NCP co-chairperson referred to Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba’s recent re-marks about shaming the government on the recent border encroachment by India in the west, and said it was unbecoming of political parties to appropriate border issues as election agenda.

“Deubajee, let’s not lie to the people as time has changed and we no longer are in an age when leaders can easily pull the wool over people’s eyes. Border issue, or issues of territorial integrity, national sovereignty and unity for that matter, isn’t so cheap that it can be kicked around as election slogan to serve our short-term political interests,” Dahal said at a meeting held by the party’s Bharatpur metropolis Ward No 16 Election Mobilisation Committee.

Further, saying places such as Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura have always been inalienable part of Nepal, the NCP chief said the government was for bringing territories back through diplomatic correspondence with India.

“No one should be confused regarding the stance of the government and the ruling party on the recent dispute over territories in the west with India. We are committed to not ceding even an inch of our land,” he said, adding that the process of bringing back territories that India claimed as its own had begun.

Dahal clarified that unity between the two communist parties was not motivated by the vested interest of the top leaders of the two parties to hog the prime ministerial post. “The party unity process has finished in its entirety now with consensus. As per the party’s decision, sitting PM Oli will run the government for the entire term of five years and focus on nation building. I will be looking after the party, its expansion and consolidation,” Dahal said.

The ruling party leader also dwelt on the benefits of having a majority government at the helm.

“With the majority government, unprecedented work on tunnel and railway construction has started. Now there will be tunnel roads, and many of them, and highways will be straight, railway lines will be installed and we’ll see ships operating on our own rivers — on the Narayani river, very soon as its construction is on,” said Dahal, an elected member of the Parliament from Chitwan Constituency-3, saying his constituency and Chitwan have received billions of rupees in budget for its development.

The upcoming November 30 by-election will elect ward chairperson for Bharatpur metropolis Ward 16.

The ward falls in Dahal’s constituency, so the election here is seen as a test of Dahal’s popularity.