KATHMANDU, Oct 5: Agitating cadres of the main opposition party, Nepali Congress (NC), have pelted stones at the vehicle of Province 5 Chief Minister Shanker Pokharel on Sunday evening. Chief Minister Pokharel is unharmed in the incident.
The NC cadres pelted stones targetting Chief Minister Pokharel's escort vehicles when Chief Minister Pokharel was on his way to Butwal after arriving at Bhairahawa Airport from Kathmandu. They also greeted him with black flags, protesting against the decision of the Province 5 government to name Deukhuri of Dang as the permanent headquarter of Province 5.
The NC cadres, mainly in Rupandehi district, have been staging a series of protests after the Province 5 government decided to develop Deukhuri as the permanent capital of the Province 5 and keep Lumbini as the name of the province. The agitating NC cadres have alleged that the decisions were made unilateral decision bypassing the decision of NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government to pick Butwal as the capital after an extensive study.
Police said the vehicle carrying chief minister Pokharel and two of his escort vehicles have received minor damages as a result of stone-pelting. Police also opened fire in the open to disperse the crowd of agitating NC cadres.
The decision of the NCP-led Province government has also left polarization even within the ruling NCP as the party's General Secretary Bishnu Paudel, who hails from Rupandehi, has asked the party leadership to reconsider the decision. Similarly, the NCP Rupandehi district chapter has announced not to accept the party's decision.