DHANGADHI, April 9: With just 34 days to go before the local elections, the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) began its nation-wide campaign from the far-western region on Sunday vowing to retain 'the largest party' status in the coming elections as well.
Top leaders of the party including party President Sher Bahadur Deuba have gathered in Attariya of Kailai to begin the party's poll campaign. Addressing party leaders and supporters gathered in the district, heavyweights of the party came down heavily on the main opposition CPN-UML, saying the latter's position on Madhes issues is complicating the future political course.
At the function, NC President Deuba accused the UML of tying to divide the country by distancingthe Madehsi community. "Conspiracies are being hatched to promote confrontation between Madhes and hills. It is against the national interests," said Deuba.
Stating that Madhesis have been safeguarding the borders even by risking their lives, Deuba urged not to alienate the Madhesis people. "Are not Madhesis in Nepal? Is not Madhes in Nepal? If yes, will Nepal remain united by irritating Madhesis?" asked Deuba suggesting to the parties to bring the agitating Madhesis on board the election process.
Deuba was for not ignoring Madhes or hills while safeguarding national integrity. "Those forces, who oppose Madhes while talking about the hills or Madhesis who opposes the hills are trying to split the country," he said adding that the unity among the people of Madhes, hills and mountains will strengthen national integrity.
At the function, Deuba promised that the country will be developed within 10 years if the national unity was strengthened. He also promised that his party would double the current old age pension, increase development funds and expedite development projects in the days to come if it wins the elections.
Similarly, NC senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel said that his party's victory was essential for the country's development. "Only the Nepali Congress can lead the country's journey towards prosperity," he claimed.
Stating that the much-cherished federalism will also fail if the constitution was not implemented in time, Poudel urged the Madhes-based parties to ignore minor issues and participate in the election. "I have also visited Madhes and talked to the people. There is something missing between the aspiration of Madhesi leaders and the people," said Poudel stating that the constitution has ensured inclusion of all castes and communities.
Poudel stressed the need for ending corruption and bad governance. He urged the party cadres to give up the practice of groupism and internal bickering in the party. "The Nepali Congress will not face defeat if we avoid internal bickering," he said acknowledging that groupism is common in the party.
NC General Secretary Shasanka Koirala warned to expel those party leaders or cadres who are found involved in defeating own party candidates in the upcoming elections. "No one should get involved in defeating own party candidates. The NC must win this local election at any cost since it is more important than any other election," said Koirala.
Stating that the NC has led every change in the country so far, another leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula said the party will lead the process of implementing the new constitution as well. He stressed the need for NC's victory in the election for the implementation of the new constitution. "The elections must happen on May 14. People are desperate to cast their votes," he said.
Thousands of party leaders and cadres of the region gathered in the mass meeting. Lawmakers Pyaralal Rana and Buddhiram Chaudhary, leaders Ishwari Neupane, NP Saud, Ramesh Lekhak, Badri Neupane, Bir Bahadur Balayar among others addressed the gathering.