Quitting on Katawal case was mistake and the party would not make such mistake again: Dahal

POKHARA, Aug 13: UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has made it clear that his decision to quit from government on the Katawal case was a mistake and the party would not make such mistake again.

Dahal quit as prime minister in 2009 after his recommendation to sack the then Nepal Army chief Rukmangad Katawal was rejected by President Ram Baran Yadav.

Dahal, together with vice-chairman and prime minister Baburam Bhattarai and another vice-chairman and deputy prime minister Narayankaji Shrestha, announced that the party would not quit the government under pressure from the opposition parties.

Stating that the resignation of the Dahal-led government in 2009 was a mistake, the leaders said they won´t make such mistake again.

Dahal, Bhattarai and Shrestha were speaking Sunday at a function here organized by the party´s Tamuwan State Committee.

The leaders also informed that an election either for Constituent Assembly (CA) or parliament may be conducted any time in the days to come and instructed the party cadres to be prepared for the polls.

According to participants at the closed-door meet, the Maoist leaders said they were not in the mood to quit the government just because Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML were demanding.

“This time we can´t simply hand over the power to the NC or UML in the name of political consensus,” a participant quoted Dahal as saying. “We have clearly told them [NC, UML leaders] that power can´t be achieved just by whining.”

According to the participants, Dahal clearly told the party cadres that he had committed a blunder by voluntarily resigning from the government following differences with the president in the dispute over army chief and that the party wouldn´t repeat such a mistake this time.

He stated that the party was ready to resist the opposition on the streets if the opposition wanted.

Dahal, who also spoke in detail about ending the deepening feud within his party, said that he is going to leave no stone unturned for ending factionalism in the organization. “We have come a long way and learnt lessons from past mistakes,” he explained. “The reshuffling recently made in the party´s central committee is the beginning toward that direction.”

Prime Minister Bhattarai made it clear among the party cadres that he was not in favor of quitting the government no matter whether he would be termed as a successful leader or a failure. He, however, admitted that he was failing to work as per the people´s aspirations.

“It is obvious that people have high expectations from the govenrment,” a participant quoted the prime minister as saying at the orientation function. “But we can´t address everyone´s expectations because this is not the government formed after winning a revolution.”

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Shrestha also urged the party cadres to rest assured that the party wouldn´t quit the government.

Apart from the top leaders, also the party´s regional chief of the Western region Lilamani Pokharel and Tamuwan State in-charge Dilaram Acharya, among other leaders, imparted political training to the party cadres at Pokhara City Hall. Around 1,000 leading cadres from eight districts including Kaski, Gorkha, Manang, Tanahun, Lamjung, Syangja, Parbat and Mustang have gathered in Pokhara to attend the orientation. However mediapersons were not allowed inside the meeting venue.

After the day-long orientation, Shrestha left for Kathmandu but other top leaders are staying in Pokhara.MANOJ ADHIKARI,republica

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