KATHMANDU, Feb 6: As the first phase of protests launched by the opposition alliance is going to conclude on Friday, leaders from the agitating political parties on Tuesday worked out protest programs for the second stage of demonstrations across the country.
The alliance of nine opposition parties led by Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML have taken to the street since last month aimed at unseating the present government and purportedly to foil the ruling coalition´s plan to impose autocratic rule in the country.
A meeting of the taskforce of the agitating political parties held at CPN-UML head office in Balkhu prepared a proposal to launch the next phase of protest that will be finalized by a meeting of the top leaders scheduled for Thursday.
"We have worked out the next phase of protests broadly. We will work on the proposal further in detail in the presence of top leaders," CPN-UML leader Shankar Pokharel, a member of the taskforce, told Republica. "The final protest programs will be announced at the mass gathering in Kathmandu on Friday."
According to him, the upcoming protests will be focused on exposing the government role in promoting impunity and corruption, its failure in ensuring peace and security to the people and the governing parties´ role in pushing the country into political and constitutional crises.
Leaders said they are likely to come up with protests in the form of demonstrations and not the programs such as general strike in the second stage though they are yet to finalize the nature and details of the protests.
The meeting also made assessment of the preparatory works on making Friday´s joint show of strength to be staged in Kathmandu a success. As the culmination of the first phase protests, the opposition alliance have announced to bring tens of thousands of demonstrators at Ratnapark in Kathmandu on Friday as joint show of strength of the opposition forces.
Pokharel claimed that their assessment on the preparatory works carried out so far and the public response shown so far has encouraged them. NC, UML leaders have already fanned out across all the constituencies in Kathmandu Valley and neighboring districts such as Kavre, Sindhupalchowk and Dhading to rally suppport for their protest.
As part of "warming up the campaign" the agitating parties have been holding regional mass gatherings outside the capital. Opposition protests have been drawing thousands of demonstrators in Biratnagar, Pokhara, Nepalgunj, Dhangadhi and other regional towns. Meantime, the NC and UML sister wings have been holding corner meets and other demonstrations at various parts of Kathmandu. They have planned to distribute handbills to public appealing to them to join their mass gathering and seeking public support for the anti-government protests. UML General Secretary Ishwar Pokharel is scheduled to lead the group that will visit people door-to-door in Bhotahiti area on Wednesday morning.
Also, sister wings of the two parties have planned to take out motorcycle rallies on Friday, a day before the mass gathering in the capital city. The opposition parties have announced to bring tens of thousands of demonstrators in Kathmandu on February 8.