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Maoist supremo denies giving up federalism

KATHMANDU: In what seemed to be an frantic effort to maintain the support of his party cadres, Chairman of the UCPN-Maoist, Pushpa Kamal Dahal has said federalism cannot not be abandoned at any cost.

Talking to media persons including National News Agency (RSS) correspondent at his residence, Lajimpat on Thursday, he said, “Many may have thought Prachanda is liberal, he gives up everything gradually. If anyone has thought so, it is false because federalism along with identity cannot be discarded.”

Prachanda further said he never proposed seven provinces for federal Nepal. According to Chairman Prachanda, his party has not budged at all from its earlier proposal for 14 provinces.

“Once the conclusion of peace and constitution writing finalized, then it could be reconsidered at the last moment but nothing has been thought about it now,” he stressed.

Chairman Dahal said  the Unified CPN (Maoist) is not in favour of a referendum to finalize the debate on federalism.
The peace and constitution writing process cannot conclude on time if we start looking for an alternative to the present government, Mr Dahal said and added that the national consensus government should be formed by representing the Nepali Congress and the CPN (UML) in the incumbent Dr.Bahttarai-led government.

He expressed his confidence that the peace process would be completed within the next few days.

In a different note, Mr Dahal said UCPN-Maoist would not split though a faction in the party had announced to protest against the government. He added, “I don’t think they (Baiddya faction) would split the party; it is not time to announce war by going against peace and constitution writing.”

Stating that he has been in favor of party unity since his involvement with the communist party, he said, ‘I do not wish a split. We merged the party prior to the people’s war and also made Maoist a bigger party by integrating other parties after coming into peace talks. Therefore some friends were mulling vengeance against me during the people’s war and it is still on after I became the Chairperson of the largest party’.

The former Prime Minister also commented that the so-called intellectuals have been trying to disrupt the genuine effort of holding international conference in Nepal by inviting UN General-Secretary Ban-Ki Moon in a bid to make Nepal known to international arena through Lumbini.

He accused some sides of the Congress and UML of trying to push the Maoists back into forest by disrupting the peace and constitution-making processes. RSS

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