PM says poll date after deal with Madhes parties

Published On: February 20, 2017 01:10 AM NPT By: Mithilesh Yadav

PM's three-point roadmap 
- Cabinet meeting on Monday to decide number of local units
- Parliament to take a decision on constitution amendment bill
- Reach a deal with Madhesi leaders on federal structure, polls

LAHAN, Feb 20: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said that he will declare an election date only after reaching an agreement with the agitating Madhes-based parties.

"The election date will be announced soon after forging consensus with the Madhesi Front," he declared while inaugurating Mahapuran Saptaha, a weeklong recitation of ancient Hindu scriptures, here on Sunday. The prime minister claimed that he has already prepared a three-point roadmap aimed at forging an agreement with the agitating Madhesi leaders and going for elections.“

"First, a cabinet meeting on Monday will take a decision with regard to determining the number of local units in the federal structure. Then, a decision will be taken on the constitution amendment bill in parliament," the prime minister announced, "And, thirdly, an agreement will be reached with the Madhesi Front to resolve the issues of federal structures by forming a new federal commission based on past agreements."

He said that the election date will be announced immediately after the government reached an agreement with the agitating Madhesi leaders.

Stating that elections will be held three months after the announcement of the poll date, he promised to fulfill all his commitments before the elections.

According to him, the Madhesi leaders are positive about announcing the election date after reaching an agreement in writing. "Once the decision to increase the number of local units is taken, they [Madhesi leaders] will agree on the elections," he claimed.

PM reaches Siraha to inaugurate Mahapuran Saptaha
At a time when as all eyes are on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal to see if his government will announce the election date, the head of government on Sunday flew to Siraha to inaugurate a weeklong Shreemad Bhagwat Mahapuraan, a religious function.

Dahal reached there amidst a busy schedule of a series of negotiations with various political parties.

Dahal, who had announced immediately after assuming office not to waste his time and resources in cutting ribbons [inaugural functions], has been widely criticized for keeping him busy in similar activities.

A radical Maoist leader, Dahal during his speech at Sunday's inaugural function explained the importance of various religious scriptures including the Mahabharats at length. "Those who don't know about the role of two major characters of the Mahabharata - Krishna and Arjun - can't understand the current politics and those who don't understand the Mahabharata also can't comprehend politics," he said. "They can't lead politics, diplomacy or revolutions properly."

He also compared himself with Emperor Ashoka. "As a leader who led the ten-year-long war and then a peace process, I feel like being Ashoka," he said.

Dahal said he arrived in Siraha to inaugurate the Mahapuran at the request of Nepali Congress leader Pradeep Giri.

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