HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Opposition parties today announced a 15-day protest programme, from June 19 to July 9, to press the parties in the government for a national consensus government and clear the political deadlock and constitutional crisis emerged after dissolution of the Constituent Assembly on May 27.
As part of their protests, opposition parties will picket the Tribhuvan International Airport on June 18 to prevent Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai from going to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, said Nepali Congress Vice-president Ramchandra Paudel after a meeting of 27 parties held at CPN-UML’s party headquarters in Balkhu.
Prime Minister Bhattarai is scheduled to lead a 21-member delegation to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, to be held in Rio de Janeiro from June 20-22. “The prime minister, whose status is caretaker now, has no justification to go on a foreign trip which is going to burden the state coffers with millions of rupees. In addition, he cannot represent the country in true sense,” said Paudel. “It is ridiculous that the prime minister is making a foreign trip when the country is facing political and constitutional crisis.”
Organising torch rallies, greeting ministers with black flags and boycotting programmes attended by ministers are other forms of protests, said UML leader Bhim Rawal. “The Unified CPN-Maoist has trampled on nationality, communal harmony and democratic norms. Our protests will be focused on reviving them,” said Paudel, adding that the movement will force Dahal and Baburam to come to consensus.
The meeting concluded that consensus was impossible unless the UCPN-M agreed for a national unity government. “If the Maoists are to abide by past agreements, the prime minister should not keep on clinging on to the chair,” said Paudel. “We have decided to intensify our protests. We will be holding corner meetings, torch rallies, and street protests from June 19-July 9.”
A three-member protest committee comprising UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel , NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Rastriya Prajatantra Party General Secretary Dipak Bohara has been formed to make the protests a success, sources said.
Congress leader Paudel criticised the government for making attempts to prolong its stay and misuse state power.
“The government is preparing to bring the fiscal budget through ordinance without forging national consensus, which is highly objectionable,” Paudel added. The protests will continue until a national unity government is formed, said UML leader Rawal. “After July 9, opposition parties will announce bigger protests,” he said.
Polls best option: PM
SURKHET: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said on Saturday that the country had no option but to go to polls for a new Constituent Assembly. Bhattarai pledged to forge consensus among parties and conduct the elections on November 22. Talking to mediapersons at Surkhet airport, Bhattarai argued that election was the best alternative to bail the country out of political crisis. He expressed hope that opposition parties would come to consensus and participate in the polls.