KATHMANDU, June 8: The Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and other opposition parties have launched an agitation vowing to unseat the present coalition government and form a national unity government.
Leaders from the 22 agitating parties held joint press meet at the NC´s head office in Sanepa and appealed to the public to participate in the mass gathering scheduled for Saturday at Tundikhel open air theater, Kathmandu.
The parties launched protests against the government accusing the latter of unilaterally setting the date for CA elections for November 22 and pushing the country into a political and constitutional crisis. They claimed that the prime minister´s move was part of the Maoist strategy of capturing state powers.
The CA´s term automatically expired on May 27 without promulgating a new constitution as the major parties bickered until the eleventh hour but failed to agree on fundamental features of the new constitution such as system of governance, model of federalism and judicial system among other things.
"Tomorrow´s demonstrations will just be a preview of what´s coming," said NC President Sushil Koirala, seated alongside NC Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel and General Secretary Prakash Man Singh, CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel, former Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa of Rastriya Janashakti Party and Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Pashupati Shamsher Rana.
Also, leaders from Chure-Bhawar Rastriya Ekata Party, Nepali Janata Dal and other little-known fringe parties were present at the press meet.
Koirala and Khanal argued that they had to take to the streets "as Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai dissolved the CA with a plan to impose the Maoist party´s dictatorship in the country under the guise of election". They accused the prime minister of leading the CA to its unceremonious end keeping the political parties, the CA members, the CA Chairman and other stakeholder in the dark.
"The interim constitution hasn´t envisioned yet another CA election and this is not something that the prime minister or the ruling party or the government can decide on its own," said the statement issued by the agitating parties. "The Supreme Court, in its verdict, offered three options but it is the CA that is mandated to decide which of the three options is the best."
The agitating parties said the government´s unilateral move to announce CA polls was undemocratic, anarchic and objectionable.
Krishna Gopal Shrestha of CPN-UML informed the media that the agitating parties will separately gather at various points around Ratnapark area before converging into the mass gathering at Tundikhel.
NC cadres will gather at Sundhara area, UML members will gather at Bhrikutimandap, CPN-ML cadres at Gaushala, RPP at Naxal and cadres from other small parties will gather at Bhadrakali before heading for Tundikhel.