UCPN (Maoist) Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN-Maoist Chairperson Mohan Baidya have signed a two-point deal Thursday, opposing the government preparation for local elections and arrest of individuals alleged of rights violation during armed conflict.
“The local elections have to be held once a new constitution is promulgated. Such an election would be unconstitutional as per Article 138 of the constitution. If the local elections are conducted, we will firmly stand against them,” said a statement inked by Dahal and Baidya together.
On the issue of war-era (1996-2006) cases of rights violation, the two Maoist leaders said they have to be investigated and prosecuted only after forming a Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“Our grave attention has been drawn towards the haphazard arrests of our leaders and cadres on the pretext of war era cases. We demand with the government to stop this process immediately, as it is against the spirit of Comprehensive Peace Accord,” said the statement.
Dahal and Baidya, whose relation itself has been on and off, have come together amid the announcement of Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh that the local elections would be conducted in Jestha (May 15 - June 14).
Likewise, the Maoist duo's statement has landed at a time when yet another Deputy PM Bamdev Gautam has declared that the culprits involved in the murder of Adhikari couple’s son would be arrested and prosecuted. Deputy PM Gautam further said a Maoist leader, Balkrishna Dhungel, alleged to have involved in war-era murder in Okhaldhunga would also be prosecuted.
The UCPN (M) had provided Constituent Assembly ticket to Dhungel in November elections under the Proportionate Representation (PR) category. His candidacy had to be withdrawn after the Supreme Court ruled that Dhungel is ineligible to contest the polls due to his criminal background.
In today’s statement, Dahal and Baidya have further warned that they would resort to joint protests, if their demands are not fulfilled.
“If our demands are not seriously taken and thereby addressed, a situation may arise in which we may have to go for a joint agitation. We want to make all stakeholders alert about this fact,” said the statement.