A Nepali Congress demonstration at New Baneshwar Tuesday. Photo: Bijaya Rai/Republica
KATHMANDU, July 25: All three district chapters of Nepali Congress (NC) in Kathmandu Valley -- Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur -- jointly took to the streets on Tuesday to protest against ‘authoritarian moves’ of the government.
Hundreds of NC leaders and cadres who participated in the demonstration marched from Maitighar Mandala through Babarmahal and Bijulibazar before finally converging into a mass meeting at New Baneshwar. NC district leaders expressed their dissatisfaction over various decisions of the Nepal Communist Party-led government.
Addressing the gathering, NC’s Kathmandu district president Sabuj Krishna Baniya said that the protest was staged to keep the government in check and make it realize its duties toward the people. Raising the issues of taxation on internet and decrease in elderly allowance, he said, “It seems like yesterday that you [NCP] made all of those promises to the people. Now, that you are leading the government, where have you disappeared?”
President of NC’s Lalitpur district chapter Madan Amatya said that the negligence shown by the government toward addressing the demands of agitating Dr Govinda KC is intolerable. He said, “Supporting Dr KC’s cause, we would like to ask the government to table the medical bill as soon as possible. If they don’t do so, let us warn them that NC has brought down many governments in the past when they worked against people’s mandate.”
NC Bhaktapur President Durlav Thapa said that the rally was not staged to topple the government but to caution it about its misdeeds. “It has been 10 days that waste has not been collected from the Valley’s streets. The government has imposed a 15 percent tax on the internet. A minister has made disparaging comments about Nepali students studying in Bangladesh. The government is not providing the elderly allowance as promised. The government should realize its inaction and immediately start working on those issues.”
The protesters waved placards reading “Implement the report prepared by Mathema taskforce,” “Ensure the rule of law,” “Why did the government use firearms at a hospital?” and “We don’t need one-party rule”.
NC has announced that if its concerns are not addressed then it will stage even larger protests on July 31 in all 77 districts.