KATHMANDU, Aug 6: Concluding that the present ruling coalition is not responding to opposition parties´ policy to end the ongoing political stalemate through negotiations, a standing committee meeting of CPN-UML on Sunday vowed to intensify agitation to unseat the present government.
Though the party has said it will keep the option for negotiations open, but leaders present at the meeting said they believed that massive public pressure was the only way to oust Baburam Bhattarai from Baluwatar.
"The recent activities of the government have clearly indicated that the Maoist-Madhesi coalition is not going to vacate Baluwatar easily. Therefore, our meeting today [Sunday] decided to intensify protests across the country that will be stopped only after unseating Baburam Bhattarai from the office," said UML Standing Committee member Bharatmohan Adhikari.
Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML along with other small opposition parties had launched protests in June following the demise of Constituent Assembly in May 27. But that couldn´t gather momentum.
Asked what would be the nature of protests in the current monsoon and festive season, Adhikari said his party would not be deterred by such factors. "We have decided to first hold talks with other opposition parties regarding the nature of protests. But it is certain that we can create a wave of protests even in the days to come," he claimed.
According to him, the party, apart from the issue of ousting the current coalition, will make its position clear in regards to some of the crucial issues such as the model of federalism and number of provinces.
"We will firmly lobby for delineating provinces based on neutral and multiple identities that would also be economically viable," he explained.
To tighten screws on dissidents
The standing committee meeting also took stock of the protracted intra-party feud between the party leadership and the dissident leaders from Madhesi and ethnic groups.
While the party leadership has decided not to go for ethnicity-based federal model, some leaders led by party Vice-chairman Ashok Rai have been lobbying for delineation and naming of provinces based on single-ethnic identity. Expressing their serious objection to the party´s official decision with regard to state restructuring, they have been boycotting party meetings for months.
According to Adhikari, the meeting instructed the party secretariat to talk to the disgruntled leaders and convince them to put express their views within the party mechanisms and not in public forums.
The meeting decided that if the dissidents wished to return to the party, they can resume their responsibilities. "But if they continue parallel activities that are in contravention with the party policy it will clearly be a misuse of their positions and the party simply can´t tolerate it," he explained.