Koirala urges prez to resolve deadlock before India visit
KATHMANDU, Dec 23: Nepali Congress (NC) President Sushil Koirala has urged President Dr Ram Baran Yadav not to visit India without resolving the currrent political deadlock back home.
Addressing a gathering of NC regional presidents at Thali in Kathmandu Saturday, NC President Koirala argued that President Yadav should take a decision to resolve the deadlock before he leaves for India on Monday.
“The political deadlock should be resolved before the president leaves for India. The visit will send a positive message if it is made after resolving the deadlock,” he said.
Koirala´s request to President Yadav comes in the wake of requests from various quarters, including from a section of media, that it would better for the president to cancel his visit if the political deadlock was not resolved. President Yadav, who is visiting India to receive the title of DLitt from Banaras Hindu University, is also scheduled to hold meetings with top leaders of India during his six-day visit to the southern neighbor.
Officials at the President´s Office, however, said there is no plan to shelve the visit. "Since everything including appointments with various leaders in India has already been fixed, it is not possible to cancel the visit," said the president´s press advisor Rajendra Dahal. "Cancellation of the visit at this point of time would harm bilateral relations between Nepal and India."
Koirala also said they would have no option but to launch stringent protests against the current government if Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai did not pave the way for national consensus. “The more the delay in forging consensus the bigger loss for the nation. We will have no alternative but to launch protests if there is no consensus within the next three days,” he added.
Koirala also warned the ruling UCPN (Maoist) and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) not to put democracy in jeopardy.
On the occasion, NC Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel alleged that the country had failed to find any solution to the current deadlock as the Maoists and the UDMF were scrambling for power. He said NC should go for protests if the ruling parties remain adamant in their respective stances.
Senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba argued that the proposal of a package deal by the ruling parties was ridiculous. He maintained that fresh election would not have been necessary had the parties succeeded in forging consensus on the contentious issues of the new statute.
NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula argued that parties should be able to find consensus without inviting outside forces. “The prime minister should be able to take decision on his own without asking for support from foreign forces,” he said, indicating that Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai had been adamant on clinging to power.
Another General Secretary Prakash Man Singh criticized the ruling parties for alleging that NC is an anti-federalist force. He asked the ruling parties to recall that it was NC´s late president Girija Prasad Koirala who pledged federalism back in 2006.
Addressing the rally, NC Treasurer Chitra Lekha Yadav, CWC members Bimalendra Nidhi, Ram Sharan Mahat, Sujata Koirala, among others, had argued that the UCPN (Maoist) wanted to prolong its stay in power by deferring the polls. They also argued that NC should work hard to secure a clear majority in the CA polls to ensure promulgation of a democratic constitution.
Various central level NC leaders including Mahat, Binod Kumar Bhattarai, Dhan Raj Gurung are scheduled to give orientation during the three-day national gathering of the party´s regional presidents organized in view of the upcoming election. The closed session of the gathering will begin Saturday.