CPN-Maoist to move against LPG hoarders
KATHMANDU, JAN 30 – The CPN-Maoist has said it is launching a crackdown against traders hoarding LPG and petroleum in the Kathmandu valley. Leaders of the Netra Bikram Chand-led party said that hoarding was mainly responsible for the ongoing fuel shortage. CPN-Maoist leaders said they had identified dozens of big and small companies that were hoarding cooking gas in the valley. They said that the party would take action against them in the coming days.
“Our campaign against hoarding of cooking gas will continue. The party has decided to intensify the crackdown as it has been affecting millions of common people,” said Sudip Malla, a central committee member of the CPN-Maoist. Malla, who is also the party’s in-charge for Kathmandu, said the party would take control of gas stashed in warehouses and distribute it to the public for free if the companies concerned did not end hoarding. Earlier this month, the party had seized LPG hidden at the main depot of Himal Gas at Gwarko, Lalitpur and gave it away for free to consumers. The party claimed that it had taken control of 2,000 cylinders of LPG after finding out that the company had been selling it at inflated prices.
On Thursday, the party picketed the office of NOC demanding immediate supplies of cooking gas and petroleum products. Hundreds of party supporters took part in a rally from Ratna Park to Babarmahal. The CPN-Maoist also submitted a memorandum to NOC to ensure smooth fuel supplies. Ishwori Dahal, the in-charge of the CPN-Maoist Newa State Committee, urged NOC Executive Director Gopal Bahadur Khadka to resolve the problem of the artificial shortage. (PR)
‘Federalism with existing state structure only a conspiracy’
KATHMANDU, Jan 29: At a time when questions concerning federalism have figured hugely in the wranglings over the constitution-drafting process, the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist has ruled out the relevance of the very idea of federalism in the country without first effecting changes in the existing state structure. The breakaway faction of the Mohan Baidya-led CPN-Maoist has further said that ethnicity should not be made the basis for delineating the federal provinces.
CPN Maoist General Secretary Chand has termed the current debate on identity-based federalism a conspiracy, said a leader of the party. Chand, in his political document presented at the first national conference of the party held in Dang a few weeks ago, has rejected ethnicity-based federalism as any part of the Maoist agenda. “Federalism alone is not a magic wand for remedying suppression against any ethnicity, the problem is class,” CPN Maoist Spokesperson Khadka Bahadur BK told Republica.
“Class emancipation and changing state structure are the first steps for ending such suppression, rather than federalism.” The CPN Maoist stance comes at a time when the UCPN (Maoist) and Madhes-based political parties are pressing for identity-based federalism in Nepal. Spokesperson BK clarified that the party had advocated for federalism in the past but only with a ‘people-centric system of governance’. “Without changing the existing state structure, the issue of federalism is nothing but a conspiracy,” BK further said.
According to the CPN Maoist, the domination of the haves in the country will not end without class emancipation and the securing of national sovereignty. “The existing concept of identity-based federalism will merely lead the country toward disintegration,” standing committee member of the party Dharmendra Bastola told Republica. According to Bastola, CPN Maoist is against any kind of identity-based federalism in the country, as discussed by other political parties. The party has proposed a different approach to securing political and cultural rights for backward and suppressed ethnicities and groups.
The party chief has proposed autonomous regions and special rights for such identity groups. Party leaders claimed that the primary agenda of the party is to empower the working and peasant classes to control the state mechanisms. “Issues of identity could be thought of if needed only after achieving people-centric state mechanisms and class emancipation,” argued BK. “Look at the example of India, where class suppression still exists despite identity-based federalism.”