NC, UML stick to old stance: Nepal PM not stepping down

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Kathmandu, May 7 (ANI): The Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML has reiterated their stance that the Prime Minister cannot step down because of Maoist street agitations.

In a two-party meeting held here, the leaders reiterated they could consider forming a national unity government only after the Maoists withdraw their agitation.

UML leader Ishwar Pokhrel said Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal would not resign due to street protests.

The UCPN (Maoist) has however said that premeditated attacks are being launched with government backing against Maoists, and warned of retaliation.

"We have been launching peaceful agitation. But we have decided to retaliate if attempts are made to attack our cadres with the government's support," said Maoist spokesperson Dinanath Sharma.

Markets have been opened for two hours everyday so as not to obstruct the transportation of perishable products including vegetables, fruits and milk.

According to Sharma, a decision to this effect was taken to avoid inconvenience to the public.

Meanwhile, entrepreneurs and professionals are organising peace rallies and assemblies at separate places across the nation today to pressurize the government to take steps to end the strike.

Police had to use force on Maoist activists when they obstructed a peace rally headed for Basantapur in Kupondole.

The situation was brought under control only after Maoist leaders stepped in.

Some 48 associations, including Federation of Nepalese Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FNCCI), Nepal Chamber of Commerce, Professional's Alliance for Peace and Democracy (PAPAD) and Hotel Association of Nepal (HAN), are jointly organising the peace assembly, Nepalnews reported. (ANI)

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