Left alliance to carry on with its campaign

- SANJEEV GIRI, Kathmandu
Maoist Chairman Dahal was in Jhapa when his son Prakash breathed his last on Sunday morning

Nov 20, 2017-The left alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre), which faced a major blow a week ahead of the first round of the federal and provincial elections due to the death of Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s son Prakash, has decided to continue with its election campaign and other major events.

Leaders of both the parties told the Post that the loss was irreparable but the unforeseen event would not impact the campaign schedule. Speculations were rife that the poll campaign of the Maoists, in particular, would be affected by the tragedy that befell the party chairman whose presence in the alliance’s mass meetings is crucial.

“Chairman Dahal has directed leaders as well as cadres to continue with the election campaign,” Maoist Centre Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said. Scheduled events in several districts were affected on Sunday as the news of Dahal’s demise spread like a wildfire since early morning. Top ranking Maoist leaders and cadres started arriving in Kathmandu from the outer districts on Sunday following the incident.

The events of the UML too were partially affected. The party suspended all its programmes for an hour from 2pm to mourn the death.

Chairman Dahal was in Jhapa when his son breathed his last on Sunday morning. He had an hour long discussion with UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli before flying to Kathmandu. Though Oli had proposed deferring the campaign, Dahal reportedly urged him not to do so. “Oli wanted to return to Kathmandu to participate in the funeral,” UML leader Bishnu Rimal told the Post.

Upon Dahal’s insistence, Oli addressed the joint meeting in Kakadvitta of Jhapa district. Hundreds of people attending the rally fell silent when Oli expressed his grief at the untimely death of Prakash.

According to Rimal, senior leaders from both the parties including Oli would focus on the campaign. “Scheduled events, in which the chairmen of the two parties were supposed to participate, will be led by Oli,” Rimal said.

Dahal’s participation uncertain

KATHMANDU: Though the left alliance has decided to continue with its scheduled mass meetings, it is not clear when Maoist Centre Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal will join. He has withdrawn participation from an event being hosted by the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry on Monday, following the demise of his son Prakash.

According to the FNCCI, a senior leader from the Maoist Centre will share the stage with UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, Nepali Congress leader Ram Sharan Mahat, Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Kamal Thapa and Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav.

Dahal’s participation in a mass meeting to be held in Chitwan on Tuesday too remains uncertain. He is contesting the federal polls from Chitwan-3. “Dahal had informed Oli that he would join the event, if possible,” Rimal said. After Chitwan, the two chairmen are scheduled to participate in campaigns in Rupandehi and Dang on Wednesday, Surkhet and Dailekh on Thursday, Kailali and Kanchanpur on Friday and Pokhara on Saturday. (PR)

Published: 20-11-2017 08:26

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