The following article is from Asian Tribune:
Kosh R. Koirala Reporting from Nepal
Kathmandu, 27 April. (Asiantribune.com):
Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoists) has announced indefinite general strikes starting May 2 to topple the current Madhav Kumar Nepal-led government.
The former rebel party said it would stage a mass rally in the capital city Kathmandu on May 1 and go for indefinite general strikes from the next day if the prime minister did not step down.
The party has threatened to shut down vehicular movement, industries, businesses and academic institutions and bring the Himalayan nation to a complete halt starting May 2.
In a press conference organized in Kathmandu, the Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal a.k.a Prachanda said they were compelled to take this step to what he called for ensuring new constitution and taking the ongoing peace process to a logical end on time.
Dahal alleged that the current government was not committed to peace process and constitution drafting. “If we did not take this step, the peace process would be unraveled by the government and the constitution will never be written. However, we are keeping all doors for dialogue open,” he said.
The Maoists has demanded immediate resignation of Prime Minister Nepal to pave way for the formation of national unity government under their leadership, thereby resolving current political deadlock in the country.
The Maoists plan to bring in hundreds of thousands party cadres in a protest rally against the 22-party ruling coalition on May 1.
The Maoist Chairman Dahal warned that the government will be held responsible if the movement turns violent due to government suppression.
Dahal’s warning comes in the wake of the government putting all security agencies including army on high alert alleging that the Maoists were trying to capture state power through street protests. The earlier told that Maoists themselves will be responsible for any untoward incidents during the protests.
The Maoists, which garnered 40 percent seats in the 601-member Constituent Assembly stepped down from the government in May, 2009 after the President Dr Ram Baran Yadav, at the request of 18 political parties, reinstated the former army chief sacked unilaterally by the Maoist-led government. The Maoist Prime Minister Dahal had dismissed then army chief Rookmangud Katawal despite objection from his coalition partners.
The Maoists’ move comes in the wake of parties struggling to meet the deadline of May 28 to promulgate new constitution. Analysts fear that the widening differences among the political parties could falter the already precarious process in Nepal, pushing the country towards a fresh series of violence.