KATHMANDU, Sept 28: With the Nepali Congress (NC) seriously differing over the protest programs announced by the CPN-Maoist and the latter showing reluctance to join a proposed taskforce of agitating political parties, the long-awaited formation of an alliance of opposition parties could not materialize on Thursday.
A meeting of 19 opposition political parties, held at the CPN-UML head office at Balkhu on Thursday, failed to form a taskforce even though a meeting on Wednesday of three parties -- NC, CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist-- had announced that they would make the protest programs public and form a taskforce to work out the details, on Thursday.
NC President Sushil Koirala, who was not present at the meeting Wednesday, proposed at Thursday´s meeting that the programs of agitation should be made public only after all the agitating political parties committed themselves to a set of principles.
"Our party president drew everyone´s serious attention that all the agitating parties should aim at the main goal of the movement and any activities tantamount to deviating from the agitation should be avoided," NC Spokesman Dilendra Prasad Badu told reporters. "Announcement of a ban on vehicles with Indian number plates and on Hindi films will have a negative impact on the movement."
CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of the ruling UCPN (Maoist), announced earlier this week that it was banning Hindi films and vehicles with Indian number plates from Nepal.
Leaders of opposition parties. (Photo: Bijay Rai)
The meeting ended inconclusively as CPN-Maoist leaders CP Gajurel and Dev Gurung had already left prior to the arrival of the NC leaders.
CPN-Maoist Secretary Gurung said they were ready to join the agitations aimed at unseating the government but they needed to discuss it in their party and with the alliance before joining the taskforce or the alliance of agitating parties.
CPN-ML General Secretary CP Mainali said they deferred the announcement of the protest programs as they wanted to be clear about any activities on the sidelines by the agitating parties.
"We wanted to set out a policy so that any agitating party´s independent activities would not create confusion about the joint movement," Mainali told Republica.
CPN-UML Politburo Member Raghuji Pant said they planned to expose the government´s unconstitutional activities, decisions taken against national interests, corruption, inflation, anarchy and decisions to withdraw cases against those involved in murder and criminal activities.