Protest program to be unveiled after opposition party meeting Tuesday
Allege govt of unleashing ´state terror´ and moving towards ´totalitarianism´
KATHMANDU, Jan 15: While expressing solidarity with the ongoing protest launched by civil society, various opposition parties including Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML have decided to launch protest against the Baburam Bhattarai-led government.
A meeting of the top leaders of NC and UML held at the residence of NC President Sushil Koirala in Maharajgunj Monday evening decided to unveil a series of anti-government protests after holding a joint meeting with the opposition parties, Tuesday afternoon .
The meeting concluded that protest was inevitable as Prime Minister Bhattarai was unleashing ´state terror´ and involved in ´anti-national´ and ´anti-people´ activities one after another.
Talking to media persons after the meeting, UML Vice Chairman Bamdev Gautam said the meeting has decided to launch protest activities while expressing solidarity with the protests being carried out by civil society. "Baburam Bhattarai government has created state terror. Since he is acting against country and its people, we have decided to bring people across the country onto the streets against the current government," he said.
Gautam said the meeting concluded that the government was moving toward totalitarianism and flouting the basic principles of the rule of law. "There is no meaning in holding any further talks with the government. The government is creating state terror and orchestrating drama one after another," he further said.
Top leaders of the two parties including UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, Vice Chairman Gautam, K P Sharma Oli, Ishwar Pokharel, NC President Koirala, Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel, General Secretary Krishna Sitaula and Dr Ram Sharan Mahat attended the meeting. The leaders had concluded that UCPN (Maoist) was bent on prolonging its stay in power and deferring new election.
The meeting had also taken stock of the latest political situation including the move of the government to issue order to halt investigation concerning the murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa in Dailekh. "We have concluded that the ouster of the current government through street protests is a must to save country from totalitarianism," said a participant in the meeting.
According to NC General Secretary Sitaula, the meeting took strong exception to the remarks of Prime Minister Bhattarai that "he would put the leaders of NC and UML in jail." "The way the prime minister has acted in recent days is unconstitutional. He appears to be inciting the problems instead of resolving them," he told media persons.
Sitaula also alleged that Prime Minister Bhattarai was bent on not only breaking consensus but also creating hindrance in consensus efforts of the parties. "The prime minister and a person appointed by him [attorney general] have given order to halt investigation into the murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa. This is unconstitutional. The government has also remained a mute spectator against violence against women," he further alleged.
Asked if the country was now heading toward confrontation, Sitaula said they were forced to take to the streets as the prime minister started acting against the people and stood against consensus. "The prime minister will be responsible for the consequences of the protests," Sitaula warned.
Prior to the meeting, NC office bearers had held a separate meeting to assess the latest political situation and the steps that parties may take to resolve the deadlock. The office bearers´ meeting held at Koirala´s residence had concluded that they should launch protest in coordination with other opposition parties against the current government as the chances of reaching to consensus were slim.