KATHMANDU, Jan 16: Various opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML, have announced 20-day protest programs against the Baburam Bhattarai-led government starting January 19.
A joint meeting of various nine opposition parties held at the UML headquarters in Balkhu on Tuesday afternoon made such an announcement accusing the Bhattarai-led government of anti-people and anti-national activities.
The meeting has also appealed to the people and political parties to actively participate in the protests to safeguard democracy and the rule of law.
“The opposition parties have decided to stage stringent protests against the Bhattarai-led government,” UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal told media persons after the meeting.
Khanal, however, said their protest is aimed at facilitating consensus among the political parties. “Our protests will force ouster of the Bhattarai-led government and facilitate consensus,” he added.
Leaders of the opposition parties. (Photo: Bhaswor Ojha)
Top leaders of NC, UML, CPN-ML, Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Rastriya Janashakti Party, CPN (Samyukta), Rastriya Jana Morcha, Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Aanandidevi), Chure Bhavar Ekta Party had participated in the meeting.
The meeting has decided to organize protest programs in the presence of top leaders of all opposition parties in Dialect on January 19 to protest against the prime minister´s direct instructions not to prosecute the culprit behind journalist Dekendra Thapa´s gruesome murder. The opposition parties will organize protest programs in all the district headquarters on January 25.
The meeting has also decided to observe “martyrs week” from January 23 to January 29 and stage a protest march in Kathmandu on January 29. According a press statement issued after the meeting, Rastriya Janamorcha is scheduled to coordinate the protest program in Baglung on February 1.
The opposition parties have also announced mass protests in Biratnagar (February 2), Nepalgunj (February 3), Pokhara (February 4), Dhangadhi (February 5), Janakpur (February 6), Bhairahawa (February 7) and Kathmandu (February 8). “Our protest is for holding the election at the earliest. But for that there is a need for a national consensus government,” said NC leader Dr Ram Sharan.
Dr Mahat alleged that the government had not only turned a blind eye to growing incidents of violence against women, but is also promoting impunity.
The meeting also denounced the conspiracy of the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhesi alliance to prolong their stay in power. “The date for fresh election announced by the UCPN (Maoist)-led government has already expired. This has pushed the country toward uncertainty,” reads the joint statement issued by the opposition parties.
The meeting has demanded that Prime Minister Bhattarai step down to facilitate formation of a national consensus government and punish all those involved in the murder of journalist Thapa. The opposition parties have also come down heavily on the growing politicization of civil service, police and army, corruption, impunity and violence against women.
Ruling alliance also to hold rallies, but for CA revival
In the wake of the announcement by opposition parties of a series of anti-government protests, the ruling Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA) has also decided to launch ´awareness´ and ´people´s mobilization´ programs across the country.
A meeting of the FDRA Secretariat held Tuesday evening also decided to form FDRA chapters in all districts to expand the presence of the organization in view of the alliance decision to launch the awareness and people´s mobilization program.
A meeting of ruling parties. (Photo: Republica)
"We have decided to launch awareness and people´s mobilization programs across the country. A meeting of the FDRA Secretariat scheduled to be held on Thursday will unveil details of the program," said Prem Bahadur Singh, spokesperson of FDRA.
Singh said FDRA, while trying to guarantee fresh CA elections through national consensus, will keep open the option of CA revival. Earlier, FDRA had announced it was going to launch a movement for CA revival if there was no consensus by mid-January.