BIRATNAGAR, Feb 3: Various opposition parties that have spearheaded protests against Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai have said that their protest is not aimed at making to the power and securing the prime ministerial berth.
Addressing a protest rally organized in Biratnagar on Saturday, the leaders of opposition parties argued that their protest is aimed at thwarting the attempt of UCPN (Maoist) to impose totalitarianism in the country and safeguard the achievements made through the historic people´s movement in April 2006.
"Ruling coalition is spreading rumors that the protest was meant for gaining power. This is downright wrong," said CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal. Arguing that the protest was not meant for making someone prime minister or deputy prime minister, Chairman Khanal said they decided to take to the streets as the achievements made through the April 2006 movement due to the activities of the ruling Maoists.
"The Maoists´ stubbornness and their thinking have put the achievements of 2006 movement in jeopardy," Khanal said. "There is no alternative to safeguarding these achievements through a joint movement."
He also pointed out the need for launching a joint movement by Nepali Congress and CPN-UML just like in the past. "Autocracy cannot be ended unless NC and UML joined hand together. Autocracy has again tried to raise its head. There is a need for a joint movement," he further said.
On the occasion, Khanal also said that ruling parties are in fear of the opposition protest rallies even before it starts. "We have not yet started our series of protest. One more push will be enough to bring down the current government," he said.
NC senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba argued that there is no alternative for Prime Minister Baburam Bhattara other than to resign to pave the way for the formation of a national consensus government. "Consensus among political parties has become elusive as the Maoists are bent on sticking to the power," he said.
Deuba also argued that there will be consensus among parties immediately after Prime Minister Bhattarai steps down. "There cannot be any consensus unless the prime minister is ousted," he added.
Addressing the function, senior UML leader K P Sharma Oli, however, argued that there is no need to stage protest to oust the government. "Baburam Bhattarai-led government is already like a rotten fruit," he said. "There is no ground for this government to stay put. The rotten fruit will fall down automatically." Oli also argued that the Maoists were now trying to impose totalitarianism as NC and UML mistook by giving them ´more space´ in the past.
Prez should act now: Koirala
Meanwhile, NC President Sushil Koirala has argued that President Dr Ram Baran Yadav should take steps to thwart Maoist bid to impose totalitarianism in the country. He argued that the president cannot remain a mute spectator as the Maoists have been putting threats to democracy, human rights and press freedom in the country.
Addressing press conference organized by Nepal Press Union in Birendranagar on Saturday, Koirala said that the president should not remain silent as the current government is moving ahead by flouting the constitution. "Our expectation is that the president takes steps in his capacity as the patron of the constitution because the constitution is in danger now. It is up to the president to decide what type of steps to take and what to do next," Koirala said.
Koirala also argued that the president in his capacity as head of the state of should take a risk as the country itself is in danger.