PM says Dahal was speaking ´in fun´
TAPLEJUNG, Jan 23: Refuting media reports that he was vying to become the new prime minister, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Tuesday said media had blown his remarks out of proportion.
Addressing the first Taplejung district convention of the UCPN (Maoist), Chairman Dahal said media had distorted his remark that there would be no problem making anyone, including himself, the new prime minister, if there was consensus among political parties.
"The media has blown up the issuing, saying Prachanda wanted to be prime minister again. It´s not true," he said.
Dahal also there could be consensus on an independent candidate with a political background if opposition parties reached consensus on that option.
Dahal said his party would not deviate from the revolutionary path even through the opposition parties were trying to push them that way by raising the issue of Dekendra Thapa. "An elephant does not get frightened just by the blowing of trumpets," he said, referring to the anti-government protest launched by opposition parties.
Dahal also alleged that those who put prices of their heads during the Maoist insurgency were making remarks against the ongoing peace process. He argued that activities and remarks against the peace process will create problems for not just the Maoists but also opposition party leaders.
On the occasion, he termed the political line of revolt adopted by the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist as ´obsolete ideology´.
He added that the world can be changed through peaceful revolution.
Also addressing the function, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, who is vice-chairman of the UCPN (Maoist), argued that the party still needed Dahal´s leadership to bail the country out of the current political deadlock. He complained that all the progressive agenda had received ´stay orders´ due to old culture and traditions prevalent in the country.
Both Dahal and Bhattarai later arrived in Sindhuli by NA helicopter to address the fourth district convention of the UCPN (Maoist).
Addressing the function, Dahal said there was no alternative to holding fresh CA elections by May-end and that failure to hold the polls by then would place all the achievements of Janaandolan II in jeopardy.
"Earlier, we had proposed only one candidate. But now we have proposed an independent or any other person. We have only demanded guarantee of a constituent assembly," Dahal said.
Dahal also said that the arrest of Colonel Kumar Lama and the murder of Dekendra Thapa should be dealt with by a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
He further alleged that some reactionary forces were trying to push the Maoists into a corner by raising issues from the war era.
Addressing the function, Prime Minister Bhattarai said they were ready to form a national consensus government.
Accusing the opposition parties of trying to incite the people by raising some particular issues of the conflict era, he said his government was helpless due to non-cooperation from opposition parties.
Dahal can´t be PM now: Bhattarai
Speaking earlier in the day with local journalists in Taplejung, Prime Minister Bhattarai ruled out any immediate possibility of Dahal becoming prime minister.
The prime minister clarified that Dahal had remarked in fun that he also could be prime minister, at a function in Gorkha, Monday.
Arguing that he was the legitimately elected prime minister, Bhattarai said there was no possibility of any top leader of the political parties becoming the new prime minister unless there was a legitimate body to elect him or her.
"The important issue now is not who leads the government but how we get a legitimate government body to resolve the deadlock," he said.
Bhattarai said holding fresh CA elections by May-end was a must to resolve the deadlock.
Bhattarai blamed the opposition parties for the prolonged deadlock, saying they intended to protest every action of the government.