KATHMANDU, Nov 16: Coming down heavily on the government for its failure to provide security to poll candidates, the left alliance has accused it of inciting the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist to foil the upcoming parliamentary and provincial assembly polls.
Organizing a press meet in Kathmandu on Wednesday evening, Chairman of CPN-UML K P Oli and CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal alleged collusion between the government and the semi-underground party in order to disrupt poll activities. The alliance accused the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) of resorting to using the Chand-led party after its previous attempt to postpone the polls failed.
“Violent attacks have taken place targeting the left alliance in various districts but the government has kept mum. Isn't there something amiss here?” asked Oli, adding that not attacking any NC candidates made them further suspicious.
Maoist Chairman Dahal claimed that the public statement of an NC minister demanding the release of Chand-led Maoist cadres who were arrested for attacking a Maoist candidate made them suspect a government-Chand connection.
“I don't accuse the whole government, but questions arise whether government ministers have not incited the Biplav-led Maoists to ambush our candidates as they fear the left alliance,” Dahal said.
Chand-led Maoists have reportedly been involved in ambushing the vehicles of candidates and attacking Maoist leaders Janardan Sharma in Rukum and Barsha Man Pun in Rolpa, and UML leaders Sherdhan Rai in Bhojpur and Rajendra Gautam in Sankhuwasabha.
Venting ire against the chief of the CPN Maoist for its alleged involvement in attacks against candidates, Oli suggested that Chand try carrying a patient to hospital from a remote village rather than engaging in anti-poll activities. “I suggest Biplav not to resort to brutal activities for others' sake,” he said.
Maoist chief Dahal warned that people would retaliate against the anti-poll forces if the government failed to provide security to the candidates of their two parties.
'Decision to scrap Budhigandaki agreement against national interest'
Both Oli and Dahal criticized the government for revoking the decision to award the 1,200 MW Budhigandaki hydropower development project to China. Oli accused the government of taking the decision under foreign pressure. “I ask the government under whose pressure the decision was taken. If not, a temporary poll government doesn't have any authority to take that decision with long-term consequences,” he said.
Dahal termed the decision shocking. “We will take this issue to the public, seeking their verdict in the poll results. This decision is against our national interest and against the development of the country,” he said.
Both Oli and Dahal warned the government not to take any long-term decision just to influence the poll results. They also threatened to revoke such decisions once they form a majority government after the polls if the government continued taking such decisions.
“We may revoke the decisions on transfer, promotion and replacement of civil servants and security forces in bulk once we form a majority government after the polls,” Oli said.
Also, speaking during the day in Bharatpur, Dahal criticized the government decision to scrap the Budhigandaki deal.
"This is a testimony that the government is not working for the country's economic development and prosperity, but for its parochial political interests," he said. Dahal said that it was wrong to revoke the decision taken by the former government as it was done in the presence of not only the Chinese company but also the representatives of the Chinese government.
"In the context of Nepal, Budhigandaki, which has been recognized as a national pride project, is an extremely ambitious project. The success of this project could have heralded economic revolution in the country. The agreement was reached after a long struggle. No matter on what ground this has been scrapped, it was absolutely wrong," he said.
Dahal also complained that although they are also in the cabinet, the government did not hold consultation with them before taking this decision.