Referendum not possible even if gov't wants, says Dahal

Published On: March 11, 2019 03:12 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 11: Chairman of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Monday said that it is not possible to hold a referendum even if the government wants.

"It requires a two-thirds majority in the parliament to hold the referendum in the country. Hence, it is not possible to do it even if the government wants," Dahal told reporters in Pokhara.

Dahal's remark comes amid secessionist campaigner CK Raut supporters' claim that the government had agreed to hold “referendum' while striking 11-point agreement to end the secessionist movement last week.

With Raut supporters' contradictory remarks, a new controversy has sparked in the political circle. "I have talked to the prime minister regarding CK Raut supporters' claim over referendum. The prime minister was of the view that Raut had yet to make clear regarding the spirit of the 11-point deal reached with the government to his cadres," Dahal further said. On Sunday, the supporters of Raut took to the street while welcoming CK Raut in Janakpur and demanded 'Free Madhes', going against the deal with the government.

The point number six in the agreement reached with the government states that Raut and his supporters will not distribute reading materials and carry out activities against the existing Constitution. Contrarily, Raut was welcomed in Janakpur with banners and slogans of ‘free Madhesh’, sparking a fresh controversy.

However, Chairman Dahal defended the government's move to reach political deal sealed with the Raut-led Alliance for Independent Madhesh (AIM) with good intention. "The government signed deal with AIM with a very good intention. It wanted bringing onboard the secessionist forces to mainstream peaceful politics. So, nobody should be paranoid," he said.

Meanwhile, Dahal also expressed displeasure over his comparison made by Prime Minister Oli with CK Raut. He said that the prime minister should have avoided such remarks.

"Perhaps he said so because we both entered to the mainstream politics by ending movements. However, such comparisons don't match in all cases. It would be good if he had avoided such remarks," Dahal added.

Oli compared Dahal with Oli saying that both of them had extraordinary decision-making ability during a program organized to publicize the 11-point agreement reached between government and the CK Raut. The prime minister had praised Raut for showing extraordinary decision-making ability in renouncing a movement that had become concerning for the entire country.



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