Put off polls: Gathabandhan

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 8, 2017-The Sanghiya Gathabandhan, an alliance of Madhesi and Janajati parties, on Tuesday decided to serve a seven-day ultimatum to the government to postpone local level elections called for May 14. 

Failure to do so will mean the Gathabandhan allies will withdraw their support to the government, a Gathabandhan leader said. 

The Gathabandhan decision on Tuesday comes a day after three persons were killed and scores injured when police opened fire on supporters of the Madhes-based parties who were protesting against a mass meeting organised by the CPN-UML.

A meeting of more than two dozen Madhesi and Janajati forces also decided to enforce a nationwide general strike on Friday and unveil other protest programmes.

The Gathabandhan has accused the UML of provoking the protesters and the government of using excessive force. “There were several other ways to disperse the crowd. There was no need to resort to excessive use of force. The whole episode appears like a deliberate attempt to wipe out protesters,” Gathabandhan coordinator Upendra Yadav told the meeting. He also accused the UML of resorting to communal politics and trying to invite confrontation. “The tragedy could have been avoided if the UML had refrained from communal and confrontational politics,” said Yadav. The Gathabandhan has also demanded martyrs’ status to those killed in Saptari and free treatment to those who have sustained injuries. 

Rajendra Shrestha of the Gathabandhan said the agitating parties have two preconditions. “First, local level elections should be postponed. Second, the constitution amendment bill should be revised and amended. Nine parties in Gathabandhan will withdraw support if the government fails to address these concerns,” he said. 

Published: 08-03-2017 07:54

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