Baidya Maoist not sincere for talks: HLPC
KATHMANDU, July 28: Taking strong exception to CPN-Maoist decision to snub invitation for talks, major political parties represented in the High Level Political Committee (HLPC) have concluded that CPN-Maoist is not sincere for talks on holding the fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) election. A meeting of the HLPC held at its secretariat in New Baneshwar on Sunday also decided to gear up election campaign while continuing efforts to bring the agitating parties onboard the election process.
“We have concluded that the CPN-Maoist is not honest about holding talks,” a senior leader present at the meeting told Republica on condition of anonymity. The meeting also concluded that CPN-Maoist´s proposal to forge an alliance with former king and party chairman Mohan Baidya´s remarks that it doesn´t require a CA to draft the new constitution were aimed at thwarting fresh CA elections and preventing institutionalization of the achievements such as federalism, secularism and republic made through the historic Janaandolan II held in April, 2006.
Talking to the media persons after the meeting, UCPN (Maoist) leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said, “HLPC has expressed surprise and sadness over the unwillingness of the CPN-Maoist and its allies to hold talks,” he said. While appealing to all the agitating parties to sit for unconditional talks to help create environment conducive to polls, HLPC also denounced recent attacks on political leaders in various districts including Bajhang, Parsa and Mahottari. The meeting also concluded that the attacks on political leaders were aimed at vitiating the environment for polls.
Baidya Maoists warn people against voting
PARWAT, July 29: At a time when the major three parties are working to bring all the parties on board the election process, the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist´s Parwat district chapter has decided to prevent people from voting through use of threat if needed. Amidst a party function organized in Parwat on Monday, party´s district in-charge Gagan Bahadur Thapa said that the party will do all to disrupt the elections. “We are requesting the people in the district not to participate in the elections as it is not in public interest,” he said maintaining that if the people disobeyed the party´s instruction then his cadres would be compelled to use threat.
He claimed that the elections are being held on cue from regressive forces so the party has felt the need for training its cadres to make the elections unsuccessful. “Our party cadres are ready to challenge the security forces at the polling booths,” he said. He further said that the government must address the concerns of his party beforehand if it wants to hold elections.
Regional administrators, police heads want army deployed for CA polls
KATHMANDU, July 29: Regional Administrators and police heads, gathered in Kathmandu to assess the security situation in the run up to the Constituent Assembly polls slated for November 21, have suggested the government to mobilize the Nepal Army on the day of the election. Taking part in the deliberation that continued till late Monday evening, the regional heads have, however, urged the government to take the political parties into consensus to deploy the army.
In the meeting organized by the Ministry of Home Affairs at the Police Headquarters, they also opined that hiring temporary police personnel (Myadi Prahari) would not be a good idea. According to a Chief of Regional Police, they are of the view that deploying Nepal Army on the perimeter of the voting stations in co-ordination with the Nepal police and Armed Police Force was the need of the hour. Most of the speakers were also worried about the delay in chalking out the security plan for the election as it has slowed down the preparations for the crucial polls, he said.
The government has not been able to finalize the election security plan as the major parties have yet to agree on the deployment of the security forces for the polls. The Home Ministry has planned to finalize the security plan only after the political parties represented on the High Level Political Committee (HLPC) arrive at a consensus on either to deploy NA personnel, a highly placed police officer said. According to him most of the speakers were worried about the recruitment of Myadi police for as they were largely found to be political cadres working in the interests of certain political parties in the previous CA polls.
Nepal Police and APF have a total strength of 67,000 and 36,000, personnel respectively. Only about 60 to 70 percent of the total strength can be deployed during the polls. In the first CA election, the government had recruited around 70,000 temporary police personnel. The meeting also focused on security threats posed by various political and non- political parties, underground armed outfits and semi-underground groups as well as other illegal and criminals groups.
Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist and Tarai-based armed groups are the major challenges, according to the speakers in the meeting. DIG Rajendra Singh Bhandari, Mid-western Regional Police head, said, “We evaluated the entire security challenges and urged the government to formulate the security plan accordingly.” He added, “This is just a beginning and we will continue appraising the government on the evolving security situation.”
EC instructs govt to stop anti-poll activity
KATHMANDU, July 29: Expressing ´serious´ concerns over the anti-poll activities of the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist, the Election Commission (EC) has instructed the government to curb any activity that can harm the integrity and fairness of the upcoming Constituent Assembly (CA) election scheduled for November 19. The constitutional body sent a letter regarding the instruction to the Interim Election Council three days after CPN-Maoist General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa launched a “nationwide campaign” against CA polls by smashing a mock ballot box in the capital.
“We have instructed the government to inform the commission about any action taken, and if not then work seriously toward stopping such activities,” Chief Election Commissioner Neel Kantha Uprety told Republica about the EC´s instruction to the government. The EC has also cautioned CPN-Maoist not to become involved in ´unwanted´ and ´illegal´ activities that prevent the citizens from exercising franchise.
Maoist parties face off in run-up to CA polls
KATHMANDU: They were one when they waged a war against the state. They were together when they contested the last election. Then they split. Now they are looking forward to crossing swords with each other. The face-off between the Unified CPN-Maoist and its breakaway faction CPN-M now poses a serious threat to the upcoming election. Leaders of both the Maoist parties have resorted to verbal onslaught and are busy deploying cadres against each other, in a sign that could spoil the poll environment.
The UCPN-M is all set to deploy its members in each constituency in the run-up to the election scheduled for November 19, in answer to CPN-M’s cadre mobilisation to foil the polls. CPN-M Rupandehi chief Basant Shrestha said his party had expedited anti-election campaign. “We are forming a youth retaliation force, or dasta, to disrupt poll-related activities,” he said. Shrestha’s UCPN-M counterpart in Rupandehi Madhav Sharma said his party was mobilising members ‘to build up contacts’ with general public and warned of retaliation if any anti-election activities were carried out. Rupandehi SP Bikram Singh Thapa said security has been beefed up in the district.
Possibility of clashes cannot be ruled out in Dang as well. A UCPN-M team led by its leader Nanda Kishor Pun has already arrived in the district to speed up poll campaign. UCPN-M district leader Lumakant Neupane said that his party would retaliate if any party tried to carry out anti-poll movement. Subash Pun, Dang district in-charge of CPN-M, said his party had already launched monthlong anti-poll publicity campaign, warning of retaliation.
The trend has picked up pace in most parts of the countries, putting security agencies and district administration offices on their toes. Security agencies in district say they have maintained high alert in view of possible confrontations. No clashes have been reported so far, but the days ahead are fraught with problems, with just 113 days remaining for the polls. CPN-M Secretary Dev Gurung told this daily that the four major political forces had been pushing for the election unilaterally without taking other parties’ concerns into consideration’ because they ‘want the country to take the path of confrontation’.
“They want instability in the country, not us,” he said, adding that his party was not for confrontation but would of course boycott, and foil, the election. Views of counterattack are coming from the UCPN-M leaders as well. UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s warnings on Saturday against the poll-opposing forces and his order to Young Communist League to ‘finish off those who are against the election’ certainly does not bode well for the country.
CPN-Maoist launches anti-poll drive in districts
KATHMANDU, July 26: Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has launched anti-election campaign in various districts aiming to disrupt the Constituent Assembly (CA) poll slated for November 19. In Dang, the party´s cadres announced to disrupt the polls. Secretary of CPN-Maoist Dang district chapter Bal Bahadur Oli has said they would do all in their powers to disrupt the elections if their demands were ignored.
“We can capture polling booths and can challenge the security forces there,” said Oli. He claimed that the party has support from the people in the district. Meanwhile, speaking at a press conference organized in Chainpur of Bajhang on Friday, the party´s central member Shankar Khadaka said, “We have formed a committee of 202 former Maoist combatants to disrupt the CA elections. They are ready for any eventuality,” Khadaka said adding that they currently training the former combatants for the purpose at undisclosed location.
He further claimed that the government will have to pay a heavy price if the party´s demands are not addressed. Meanwhile, speaking at an interaction in Lumbini, Home Minister Madhav Prasad Ghimire has said that they are holding both formal and informal talks with agitating parties to bring them on board the election process. “A party has no right to hold the country hostage by disrupting the election process,” said Ghimire. He clarified that the date of election will not be rescheduled.
CPN-Maoist tars face of Churebhawar Loktantrik party chief
KATHMANDU, July 26: Alleging that the government authorities were ignoring public complaints, the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has begun taking arbitrary action against what they describe as ´land mafia´, the corrupt, smugglers, robbers, black marketeers and others involved in unscrupulous activities, as a symbolic protest. On Friday morning, cadres of the Maoist youth wing smeared black on the face of Bhumi Niraula, chairman of Churebhawar Loktantrik Party, near Tinkune, Kathmandu.
The youth wing said that they were compelled to do so after police failed to respond to complaints against him. Janmadev Jaishi, a Maoist workers union cadre, said, “We took action against Niraula as he was involved in several frauds related to land and employment and he had political cover.” He said, “We observed him for about 17 days and then accused him of wrong doings.” SSP Subodh Ghimire, chief of Metropolitan Police Range Office, Kathmandu, said that it was not for a political party to judge if someone is guilty or not and take action against that person. “It is against the rule of law; we will investigate and take action against whoever is guilty,” he said.
The Maoist youth wing said that it has received several complaints from various parts of the country against various people and announced action against them. “We have not violated the rule of law but have attempted to provide justice to victimized people,” Jaishi claimed, adding that they would continue to do so nationwide. But Niraula said, “I am innocent; I was publicly humiliated and physically abused.”