UML erred in quitting govt: Gautam

KATHMANDU: Vice president of CPN-UML and former Deputy Prime Minister Bamdev Gautam today said his party will have to repent its mistake of withdrawing from the government.

"In retrospect, we will realise the mistake," he said while addressing a trainers' training programme organised by All Nepal National Free Students' Union here today. Gautam was referring to his party's decision to withdraw support to Prachanda-led government, on which he had a different view.

He backed the government's decision to take action against Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal claiming that he had not obeyed the government and was convicted by the Rayamajhi Commission. He said the UML chairman and the general secretary had agreed to seek clarification from the CoAS.

The former DPM said the peace process would not end logically as long as arms and the people using them remain in cantonments. He said the party had not been able to garner majority for the only prime ministerial candidate fielded by it. "Unless there is a national consensus, it will be difficult to run the government," Gautam added.

He said only two UML cadres had been killed by the Maoists in the past year while some 300 party supporters got killed in the decade-long insurgency, arguing that the party had succeeded in protecting its cadres.