Concerned India hopes Nepal will solve crisis internally
New Delhi, May 4 (ANI): While expressing concern over the latest political developments in neighbouring Nepal, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that said it is an internal matter of that country, which it has to resolve.
"What is happening in Nepal is internal to Nepal. We wish Nepal well in its transition to a fully democratic polity and would hope that the present crisis is resolved in a manner which contributes to the early conclusion of the peace process," he said. .
"We would hope that the broadest possible political consensus would make it possible for Nepal to concentrate on the agreed tasks of Constitution making and of democratic transition," he added.
Meanwhile, in Nepal, the Maoists threatended to launch agitation from House and street on Monday evening.
The Unified CPN (Maoist) decided to agitate in the parliament and the street until their decision to sack Chief of Army Staff Rookmangud Katawal is implemented, stated a Nepal News report.
A meeting of the party secretariat held at Baluwatar Monday evening following Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's resignation decided to launch the agitation in favour of democracy and civil supremacy.
Dahal had announced his resignation through an address to the nation Monday afternoon.
Maoist leaders said further protest programmes will be announced after a Central Committee meeting of the Maoists, the report added.
Earlier, President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday evening. He had submitted his resignation to the President at the latter's office, Shitwal Niwa, soon after announcing his resignation through an address to the nation.
President Yadav also asked the incumbent Council of Ministers to carry out its duty till a new Council of Ministers is formed.
While announcing the resignation, Prachanda accused "national and international reactionary forces" of hatching a "conspiracy" against his government and the nascent republic which abolished its 240-year-old monarchy in May last year. "I will quit the government rather than remain in power by bowing down to the foreign elements and reactionary forces," said Prachanda, whose government was sworn in on August 15 last year after the Maoists emerged as the single largest party in the Constituent Assembly elections.
In an indirect reference to India, Prachanda said his party was ready to maintain "cordial relations" with the neighbouring countries but would "not accept any intervention".
Prachanda accused "reactionary forces" of obstructing the Maoist government in its efforts to introduce various reform programmes. He admitted that the government could not perform upto the expectations of people "due to various obstacles put by regressive forces and ongoing shutdowns and agitations".
He also said he was committed to democracy, human rights and press freedom and asserted his party's commitment to the peace process.
Presently, the Maoist strength in the 601-member Constituent Assembly is 238. The NC has 112 seats, UML 108, Madhesi People's Rights Forum 53, Terai Madhes Democratic Party 21 and Sadbhavana Party nine seats. A minimum of 301 seats are required to form a government.
Pushpa Kamal Dahal, a former school-teacher who had come to be known as 'Prachanda' (the fierce one) while fighting a guerrilla warfare from jungles of Nepal in the 1990s, had been facing a series of hiccups in running the administration since taking over, the latest being the tiff with the army chief. The collapse of his government raises the spectre of renewed Maoist unrest in the country which is yet to draft a new constitution despite the formation of the Constituent Assembly in April last year.
President Yadav has urged all political parties to find a way out of the present crisis through Parliament. He also said that his move to block the sacking of army chief was in accordance with the constitution.
Former premier and opposition Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala said the peace process will have to be taken to its logical conclusion. He also said the Maoist party can be a constituent in a CPN (UML)-led government.
"What is wrong if Maoists be part of the coming government which will be led by UML. I do not see why we cannot have that," he said.
Meanwhile, in another development, the local administration banned demonstrations in areas surrounding the army headquarters and the Presidential Office at Maharajgunj to maintain law and order in view of demonstrations by various student and youth groups, including pro-Maoist Young Communist League (YCL). (ANI)