PM meets ailing Maoist leader Baidya at hospital
KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Wednesday went to the Thapathali-based Norvic Hospital to meet ailing CPN-Maoist Chairman Mohan Baidya and wished the bed-ridden leader a quick recovery. The Maoist leader, who suffers from chronic asthma, was hospitalised on Monday evening after a bout of flu, fever and breathing problems. He is suspected to have pneumonia. However, the Norvic Hospital said that Baidya was diagnosed as having influenza with viral fever only, and he was recuperating. Koirala acquired information from the team of medical doctors involved in Baidya’s treatment, according to the PM’s Secretariat. Senior Consultant Pulmonologist Dr. Brajendra Srivastava leads the team.
The doctors told Koirala that the Maoist leader’s health condition was improving. Mentioning that his brother, Dr. Arun Koirala succumbed to pneumonia recently, the Prime Minister suggested Baidya to be careful and take rest enough. On the occasion, Koirala briefly talked about politics and expressed his concern over the country’s situation. He opined that the constitution can be amended after its promulgation if there are shortcomings in it. “We spent this long time for democracy. It should be institutionalised by resolving (issues) through consensus. We are making efforts. If you have anything, please do tell.”
CPN-Maoist demands national unity government
KATHMANDU, DEC 31 – The Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has demanded a new national unity government incorporating forces in and outside the Constituent Assembly (CA). The party’s first national gathering that concluded on Monday also agreed to stick to its former position that the CA should be dissolved to promulgate new constitution through all-party political conference. It announced a series infinite protests coinciding with the January 22 deadline of the CA to exert pressure for such conference. Issuing a statement on Tuesday, the party said it will launch nationwide demonstrations and general strike from January second week. Party Chairman Baidya said the CA should be dissolved as it is sponsored by national and international powers.
“We should form a powerful assembly to replace the CA,” he said, adding that the conference should settle the contentious issue of the constitution writing process. Leaders said the national gathering has once again endorsed political document on “New People’s Revolution” presented by Baidya. Senior party leaders, including Vice-Chairman CP Gajurel, General Secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa and Secretary Dev Gurung, extended unanimous support to the document. The party also urged Netra Bikram Chand faction to rejoin the party by correcting past mistakes. CPN-M Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said the gathering agreed on a need of broader alliance among the leftist and nationalist forces.
She said the party is open to form a working alliance with like-minded forces for protest. She, however, clarified the planned unity with other Maoist parties including Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led UCPN (Maoist), Matrika Yadav-led CPN (Maoist) and Mani Thapa led CPN-Revolutionary look unlikely for the time being due to long standing ideological differences. The party also urged the government to control inflation and ensure availability of essential goods. Other demands of the party include scrapping power trade agreement, power development deal and “unequal” treaties with India, ensuring transparent land distribution to the landless and creating job opportunities. The party’s gathering also appealed the government to withdraw criminal charges against most of its cadres arrested during Maoist insurgency and second CA election.
CPN-Maoist announces protests
KATHMANDU: Coinciding with the general strikes announced by the 30-party Federal Democratic Alliance led by Unified CPN-Maoist, the CPN-Maoist today announced its struggle plan. Presenting the decisions of the party’s national conference held here from December 26 to 29, party general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa said the party has decided to hold general strike in the eastern region on January 9, in the western region on January 11, in the mid-western region on January 12, in the central region on January 13 and to take their protests to a culmination with a nationwide general strike on January 17. The FDA has already announced its general strike at the same places on the same days but they have called the nationwide general strike on January 19.
The Mohan Baidhya-led CPN-M also decided to burn the copies of the new constitution on January 23 if the country drafted the constitution on January 22 the deadline for promulgating the constitution. “On February 13, the party will be organising its Youth march past and Mass meeting at Khulla Manch,” Thapa said at the press conference. Asked about the struggle plan coinciding with the FDA, party Vice-chair C P Gajurel said the plan was drafted after consulting with FDA leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
The conference has also decided to open the door for the party’s former secretary Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist to join the party, besides forming a Revolutionary Communist Centre uniting all like-minded parties. The party has also decided to fill the vacant 64 positions of central committee members after 61 members deserted the party during the recent split through the central committee meeting to begin from tomorrow. Currently, the party has 87 out of 151 full central committee members after 61 members of the central committee joined the Chand-led CPN Maoist.