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Nepal govt, Maoists on collision course

Normal life in Kathmandu and 11 other cities in Nepal remained affected on Saturday as opposition Maoists held massive rallies in a bid to remove the ruling government, reports Utpal Parashar.

world Updated: May 01, 2010 23:16 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
Hindustantimes

Normal life in Kathmandu and 11 other cities in Nepal remained affected on Saturday as opposition Maoists held massive rallies in a bid to remove the ruling government.

On the other hand, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal refused to resign and accused the Maoists of using threats and unconstitutional means to remove the government.

Nearly 300,000 lakh cadres belonging to UCPN (Maoist) gathered at Ratnapark in the capital and resolved to start an indefinite strike from Sunday to form a national unity government.

Shops, business establishments remained closed and public transport stayed off roads as 15,000 security personnel were deployed to ensure that the demonstration doesn’t turn violent.

Since morning, thousands of Maoist workers marched from 18 points in Kathmandu Valley to Ratnapark shouting slogans like ‘dissolve the puppet government, form national unity government’.

Blaming the government of not doing enough to complete the ongoing peace and constitution drafting processes within the May 28 deadline, Nepal’s main opposition party is seeking its removal.

“The government has failed to take the peace and constitutional drafting processes to conclusion,” said UCPN (M) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.

“As the biggest party in constituent assembly and a signatory of the peace agreement, it is our responsibility to ensure that both goals are achieved.”

In an address to the nation, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal accused Maoists of spreading anarchy and urged them to call off their strike. He stated that the government can’t step down at this critical stage. Though talks are underway between major political parties to end the stalemate, no solution is in sight and the Maoists are expected to go ahead with their indefinite strike from Sunday.