THT 10 YEARS AGO: Indian envoy optimistic about CA polls

Kathmandu, January 25, 2008

Indian ambassador to Nepal - Shiv Shankar Mukherjee today expressed optimism about the success of the April 10 Constituent Assembly elections. Speaking to media after a programme at the Indian Embassy here today, Mukherjee said there are enough grounds to be optimistic, adding, “I am hopeful that the election to Constituent Assembly will happen since the peace process has progressed significantly here.”

Another reason, he said, was the seven-party unity, which has remained intact for holding the election on time and the political leaders’ repeated emphasis and commitment on holding the poll. He also said India is committed to assist Nepal in the peace process. Asked if he had any suggestion to the agitating factions of the Tarai, Mukherjee said, “I feel all misunderstandings should be sorted out through dialogue, not violence.

The only way forward is through talks.” Earlier, handing over the last of phase of 1,200 fourwheeler vehicles and 14,000sets of communication equipment for the Constituent Assembly election to Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula, Mukherjee said India wished to see Nepal’s transition to a democratic, peaceful and prosperous country.

He also reaffirmed India’s commitment to support in whatever manner possible the efforts aimed at creating a new democratic, stable and prosperous Nepal in accordance with the wishes of the Nepalis people.

No to talks till the govt meets demands: Thakur

Bhairahawa, January 25, 2008

President of the Terai Madhes Democratic Party Mahantha Thakur said that his party would not sit for talks till the government makes clear its stand on on his party’s 11-point demands.

Talking to journalists at a press conference here today, he said it is illogical to sit for talks before the government makes its stand clear on his party’s demands. “Why would we sit for talks when the government is claiming that all demands of Madhes were fulfilled?”, he asked. “The government is simply trying to trap us in the name of talks. We would not fall to the appeal.” Warning that the three phases of security concept put forward by the government will simply invite more problems in Madhes, he said that the concept was an anti-Madhes move.

Saying that the government should own responsibility for the clash between the Nepali Congress and his party cadres, he alleged that the government used force against the peaceful demonstration.

Thakur, who looked not healthy replying to the journalists briefly, said that the constituent assembly poll would be meaningless till the Madhesi demands were addressed and added that his party’s alliance with the Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum and Rajendra Mahato’s Party is likely.