KATHMANDU, Feb 14: The main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) has taken strong exception to the remarks of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal that the late NC President Girija Prasad Koirala had requested him ‘to launch major offensives’ against government installations and security outposts.
Addressing a function organized to commemorate the Maoist ‘People’s War Day’ in the capital on Thursday, NCP Chairman Dahal claimed that he used to have telephone conversations with Koirala almost on a daily basis during the insurgency. “There used to be telephone conversations between Girija Prasad Koirala and me almost daily. He used to ask us to make bigger raids. He used to ask me to attack district headquarters,” he claimed.
Expressing serious concerns over Dahal’s statement, the NC said it strongly objects to any attempts to undermine the late Koirala’s contribution to the peaceful resolution of the Maoist conflict. “If late Girija Prasad Koirala had indeed asked Dahal to step up military offensives and attack district headquarters, Dahal should have revealed it when Koirala was still alive. But this irresponsible statement coming from a responsible leader several years after Koirala’s death apparently in an attempt to distort historical facts is unfortunate,” NC spokesman Bishwa Prakash Sharma said.
Sharma said that late Koirala had taken a lead to start a politics of cooperation, consensus and unity to help the country to get out of the vicious cycle of violence perpetrated by the Maoists. “It is contradictory to say that a leader who successfully coordinated and provided leadership for the safe-landing of violent politics, incited violent attacks,” he said in the statement.
While asking Dahal to recall the suggestion given by late Koirala to Dahal to act in a responsible manner, Sharma also cautioned Dahal to make statements on sensitive issues in a responsible manner.
Besides the NC, Dahal’s own deputy during the insurgency period, Baburam Bhattarai, also objected to his statement.
“So far as the issue of Girijababu is concerned, it was not always so. But he had asked [us] to disrupt the municipal polls announced by King Gyanendra in January after the 12-point understanding was reached in November 2005,” he wrote on twitter while criticizing Dahal’s habit of exaggerating things.
Addressing the function Thursday, Chairman Dahal went on to claim that a unique cooperation between him and Koirala had made it possible to overthrow the 240-year old monarchy and establish a federal democratic republic in the country. While asking not to dismiss the decision taken by the then Maoist to give up arms, army and base areas and come to negotiations to start the peace process as an ordinary decision, Dahal also rejected the possibility of a new insurgency in the country.
Addressing the function, NCP Vice President Bamdev Gautam said the ‘people’s war’ was waged for the liberation of the people. He also said that the UML had to suffer a lot when the Maoist waged the insurgency.