KATHMANDU, Nov 9: The major opposition Nepali Congress (NC) organized a mass meet in the capital on Friday to press for the formation of consensus government and fresh elections to end the existing political stalemate in the country.
Seen as the NC´s show of strength, the program was organized on the occasion of 97th birth anniversary of the party´s supreme leader late Ganesh Man Singh, at Basantpur.
Party cadres and leaders took out a mass rally from Ratnapark , offering garlands on the statue of Singh, and converged into the mass gathering after passing through Bagbazar, Putalisadak, Pradarshanimarg, Sundhara and New Road.
Lets contest polls: Koirala to Maoists
Addressing the gathering, party President Sushil Koirala called upon the ruling UCPN (Maoist) to give up ´ penchant for power´ and challenged the Maoists to contest elections. "There is no other way but the road to downfall," he said.
Defending the criticism that his party lacks a vision of clear way ahead, Koirala said, "Election is all we want. We want election as early as possible. It should not be held later than mid-June. This is a challenge"
He charged the ruling Maoists with committing a political coup by dissolving the Constituent Assembly and announcing new elections unilaterally. "From that day onwards, mistrust (in Maoists´ intent) has grown," he said. "We still say lets settle things through consensus."
No alternative to street protest: Deuba
Senior party leader Sher Bahadur Deuba said there is no alternative to street protest, at the moment. "We have now two options--stir and surrender. But ours is the party that will never surrender," he said.
Deuba said the Maoists just want to stay on in power and trying to impose despotic rule on the country and stressed on the need to firm determination to practically carry out program of protest.
He further reiterated that he is still in favor of reinstating the dissolved CA. "We could not draft new constitution in four years and we are thinking to hold new elections to make the same constitution."
"Nobody listened to me when I spoke for the CA reinstatement, nor could I convince anyone. But I dont see any difference in reinstating the CA and going for new polls to make the same constitution," Deuba added.
This is just the beginning of struggle against govt: Paudel
Addressing the meet, party Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel announced the struggle against the government till its ouster and accused the ruling coalition partners, UCPN (Maoist) and United Democratic Madhesi Front of being against democracy.
He blamed the erstwhile Constituent Assembly´s inability to promulgate the new constitution on ´the forces posing against democracy and pluralism´ and said the former king and progressive forces have, once again, started being active due to the activities of the ruling partners.
Participants at the NC´s mass meet in Basantapur, on Friday, November 9, 2012.
Honor being paid to late leader Singh with cultural show.
Party cadres in front of the portrait of late leader Singh.