THT 10 YEARS AGO: 20-point roadmap to end deadlock

Kathmandu, December 18, 2007

Task force members of the seven parties have agreed on 20-point recommendations aimed at ending the political and constitutional deadlock as the country sets its eyes on the Constituent Assembly polls.

The recommendations will be submitted to the seven-party high command tomorrow, task force members told this daily. But the Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party disagreed with some of the points, wrote note of dissent and proposed some alterations, which will be presented at the alliance meeting tomorrow afternoon. One of the changes NWPP has proposed is adoption of Mixed-Member Proportional Representation (MMPR) system of election. “Six parties agreed to it but the Nepali Congress rejected it,” Sunil Prajapati of the NWPP said.

The NWPP also recommended formation of a caretaker government to hold the CA polls. It also proposed to include representatives of workers and peasants in the CA on the basis of their population.

The task force has recommended that Nepal be declared a Federal Democratic Republic subject to endorsement by the first meeting of the Assembly and increasing proposed number of CA members to 601 from 497 at present. The task force decided to pay the outstanding salaries to all Maoist combatants in the cantonments.

NC sets up panel to check defection

Kathmandu, December 18, 2007

The Nepali Congress today set up a five-member committee to avert defection of Madhesi lawmakers and party activists to a regional party to be led by Mahantha Thakur. The task force members are Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, Dr Ram Baran Yadav, Mahesh Acharya, Sarat Singh Bhandari and Benup Raj Prasai.

The formation of the task force comes days after Prime Minister and NC leaders listened to the concerns of the Madhesi MPs.

A section of the Madhesi MPs are under pressure to quit the party to join the soon-to-be formed outfit, NC lawmakers told the party leadership today.

However, Hridayesh Tripathi, who quit the Nepal Sadbhavana Party to join the new political entity last week, rejected the charge. “Our side has not at all pressured any NC lawmaker to join us,” Tripathi told this daily. “The pressure will come from the people and I am sure a number of Congress lawmakers will join the new party which will be committed to the cause of the Madhes.” The party leadership today assured Madhesi lawmakers of certain immediate steps and a long-term package to address the problems faced by the Madhesi people.

NC acting president Sushil Koirala, Minister of Peace and Reconstruction Ram Chandra Poudel, Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, and Dr Ram Baran Yadav held a meeting with the Congress lawmakers from the Tarai, headed by Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar.