KATHMANDU, Oct 13: As a group of politicians including around 150 erstwhile Constituent Assembly (CA) members intensify their campaign for reinstating the CA, some noted CPN-UML leaders have strongly opposed the idea.
CPN-UML Vice-Chairperson Bidyadevi Bhandari and General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel categorically said on Friday that the proposal to revive the CA was simply unacceptable.
They also fiercely criticized those involved in the campaign.
Bhandari at an interaction in Kathmandu said that her party wouldn´t let anyone to turn back the clock by reinstating the CA.
In a separate function in Lalitpur, Pokharel described the erstwhile lawmakers involved in CA revival campaign as hordes of anarchists.
"Reviving the CA that failed to deliver new constitution even after repeatedly extending the tenure for four years is to push the country into a state of indecisiveness yet again," said Pokharel.
He explained that the proposal was unacceptable also because such a move would be against the spirit of the Supreme Court´s verdict. The apex court in its ruling had said that the CA´s term couldn´t be extended beyond May 27.
Stating that the UCPN (Maoist) leaders´ move to float the proposal to revive the CA was to fool the people once again and to prolong the party´s stay in power, Pokharel emphasized on fresh polls.
Meanwhile, Krishna Gopal Shrestha, chief of the party´s Kathmandu valley committee, has fervently objected to some UML´s erstwhile lawmakers´ involvement in the campaign.
In his strongly-worded statement, Shrestha said on Friday that some UML leaders were dancing to the tune of UCPN (Maoist) leaders´ who wanted to capture state powers.
"We strongly object to some former [UML] lawmakers´ involvement and supporting the campaign that is led by the forces, who can´t face the elections, despite our party officially deciding to be prepared for fresh elections," said Shrestha. "It is a mockery of democracy that some of the erstwhile CA members have been holding meetings as if they were still legitimate lawmakers of the dissolved 601-member jumbo Assembly."
Criticizing the former lawmakers for failing in their responsibility even after the CA´s tenure was repeatedly extended, Shrestha accused them of planning to give continuity to their tendency of using the CA membership merely as a job to enjoy salary and perks.
Voices of Vice-Chairperson Bhandari and Valley Chief Shrestha hold significance also because both of them are trusted members of the party´s influential leader KP Sharma Oli.
Over 150 erstwhile CA members from over two dozen political parties including UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML gathered at the CA building Baneshwar on Thursday and vowed to lobby for the Assembly´s resurrection.
Dozens of CPN-UML lawmakers including the party´s chief whip Bhim Acharya were present at the gathering that was chaired by former CA Vice-chairperson Purna Kumari Subedi.
Lately, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal is trying to woo other party chiefs in favor of CA revival. While NC President Sushil Koirala is unwilling to revive the jumbo body, two other key leaders -- Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Paudel -- from the same party are for resurrecting the assembly.
In a bid to garner support in his proposal, Dahal on Thursday talked to CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal. While criticizing Dahal for flip-flopping on his position between the two options of going for fresh elections and reviving the CA, Khanal reportedly didn´t turn down the proposal outright.
As the debate for and against CA rivival and fresh polls intensify intra-party divisions in major political parties, CPN-UML has scheduled its standing committee meeting for Saturday to discuss the issue.