KATHMANDU, Oct 28: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Friday defended the government's Thursday's decision to give nationwide public holiday during the visits by the heads of state of two neighboring countries--India and China. Dahal's defense comes amid widespread criticism of the government decision. He said that the decision was take as per the suggestion of politicians and security agencies.
“This decision was taken in view of the traffic congestion in Kathmandu Valley's roads. It was announced at our preparation meeting held at Sheetal Niwas with President Bidya Devi Bhandari and some other top political leaders,” PM's secretariat in a statement quoted the prime minister as saying, adding, “But the public are blaming me for the decision.”
Meanwhile, the All Nepal National Free Students Union (ANNFSU), a student's wing of the CPN-UML, has demanded a roll back of the government decision and threatened protests if its demand is not met.
Issuing a press statement on Friday, the ANNFSU said, “We urge the government to rectify its decision to observe a public holiday during the Indian president's upcoming visit. If the decision is not rectified, we will launch stringent protests.”
Indian President Mukherjee is arriving in Nepal on November 2 on a three-day state visit.