Nepali Congress in bid to form democratic alliance
Kathmandu, Oct 4 (IANS) A day after the country’s major Left political forces CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Naya Shakti Party-Nepal of former Premier Babu Ram Bhattarai announced an electoral alliance, the ruling Nepali Congress on Wednesday officially decided to partner with other democratic forces for the upcoming provincial and federal parliamentary elections.
A meeting of the Nepali Congress’s Central Executive Committee decided that the party did not have any option other than to form the alliance to counter the Left forces. “Now broader democratic alliance is the need of the hour to strengthen the democratic forces in the country,” said Nepali Congress Central Working Committee member Arjun Narsingh KC.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, also President of the Nepali Congress, said the party would hold meetings with the Rastriya Janata Party (RJP), Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum Nepal (SSFN), Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and RPP (Prajatantrik) to discuss the formation of an alliance, the Kathmandu Post reported.
“The recent alliance of UML and Maoist Centre is a Communist merger rather than the alliance of leftists and this is not good for democracy,” said Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi.
However, RJP General Secretary Manish Suman said that although the Prime Minister summoned top leaders of the party, there were no discussions aimed at formation of an alliance.
“Our party has always been seeking alliance with those supporting amendment to the Constitution,” said Suman, adding that RJP Nepal’s first priority would be forging alliance with Madhes-centric parties and then with those in favour of amending the Constitution.
On Tuesday, CPN-UML Chairman K.P. Sharma Oli, CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” and Naya Shakti Party-Nepal Coordinator Babu Ram Bhattarai signed a six-point agreement announcing a broader electoral alliance.
The Left leaders hailed the development as a “milestone” in Nepali politics and the beginning of a progressive alliance that would unify other Leftist and democratic forces that advocate change.