NC unveils election manifesto

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 1, 2017-

The ruling Nepali Congress on Tuesday unveiled its election manifesto with a vow to “fight against” the communist alliance of the CPN-UML and the CPN (Maoist Centre).

The set of promises for the upcoming federal and provincial parliamentary elections praises the Madhes-based parties for choosing the path of “dialogue and consensus”. The NC has become the first party to come up with its pledges ahead of the polls scheduled to be held together on November 26 and December 7. The left alliance dominates the political component of the Congress manifesto.

Speaking at the manifesto unveiling programme organised at the party headquarters in Sanepa on Tuesday, Prime Minister and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba came down heavily on the left alliance.

The 84-page document depicts the UML as a force that promotes “pseudo-nationalism” and the Maoist Centre as a “conspiring and opportunist” outfit. The NC document charges their alliance with aiming to establish a “one-party system” and “to capture” state power.

Hinting at the left alliance, PM Deuba said “anti-democratic” forces are joining hands in order to impose a “totalitarian regime” in the country. 

“If there is a communist rule, you cannot raise voices against injustice,” Deuba said, claiming that the Congress party had been leading the struggle against totalitarian regimes since 1950. This time the party wanted to lead the nation towards prosperity.

Deuba was accompanied by senior leaders Ram Chandra Poudel and General Secretary Shashank Koirala, among others. Poudel said the left alliance had raised questions over durability of the new constitution and the political system it prescribes. “Some forces expressed their dissatisfaction when the constitution was promulgated but they did not question the political system. But the communist forces have raised questions about it,” Poudel said.

Aiming at the UML, the PM said some forces were trying to create “disharmony between different castes and ethnic groups, posing a threat to national unity”. The manifesto was prepared by a committee led by Central Working Committee member Mahesh Acharya. “Like it or not, the NC’s victory is a must for the country and democracy,” Deuba stressed. The paper states that the NC would take a lead in amending the constitution for addressing the concerns of the Madhesi people with an aim to make it broadly acceptable. The party document blames the UML for the failure of Parliament to endorse the charter revision bill. The party raises alarm that the UML’s stances “imperil the achievements of the new constitution, economic prosperity, national unity and social harmony”.

The NC has said its guiding principles for making the country prosperous are the federal inclusive republican constitution and principles of “democratic socialism”.

As the left alliance is preparing to push the agenda of directly elected president, the NC argues that such a system would not guarantee political stability. “The directly elected president may be an experiment that could lead the country towards sustained conflict,” the manifesto reads, arguing that many countries that adopted this system faced totalitarian regimes.

It seems that the left alliance has got the NC more belligerent towards the UML and the Maoists. Unlike in the past, the latest manifesto has made some serious allegations against the two parties. For instance, the Congress manifesto for the second CA elections had taken a softer line against other parties. However, the party says it remains committed to the “politics of consensus, reconciliation and national unity for strengthening the roots of democracy in the country”.

“The NC appreciates and welcomes the Madhes-based parties who have chosen the path of addressing problems through constitutional amendments, abandoning the path of protests and movement,” the document reads. To counter the leftist alliance, the NC has sought to join forces with the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and other fringe parties.


Three ex-MPs join Congress

KATHMANDU: Three former parliamentarians joined the Nepali Congress on Tuesday. Outgoing CPN (Maoist Centre) MP Sambhu Lal Shrestha was welcomed by NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba at a function organised in the Capital on Tuesday. Shrestha had left the Congress party in 2013 after he was denied the ticket for the second Constituent Assembly elections. Two former members of parliament from the CPN-UML also entered into the Nepali Congress fold. Mohan Singh Rathor and Nawani Chaudhary were welcomed by senior Congress leaders to the party. (PR)

Published: 01-11-2017 07:49

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