Nepal’s former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai has launched the campaign for a broad-based political front to tackle the current conflict over the new Constitution and to lead the country to development, agencies report.

Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai launching Naya Shakti campaign in Dhumbarai, Kathmandu, Sunday
Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai launching Naya Shakti campaign in Dhumbarai, Kathmandu, Sunday

Inaugurating  the New Force (Naya Shakti) campaign, Bhattarai, who hails from a remote village in Gorkha, said the front will mobilize public opinion and form a new party soon.

Bhattarai, who resigned from the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) in September protesting against the new Constitution of Nepal, blamed the government led by K P Sharma Oli for the ongoing violent protests that have blocked the movement of goods and hit the nation’s economy hard.

“The Constitution … can be compared to a half-filled glass …  it can be called half-filled or half empty. It should be made complete by filling the remaining half through Constitution amendment,” he said.

While parties like the Nepali Congress, Praja Parishad, the CPN-UML and the UCPN-Maoist have served the country well, they have been unable to move with the times. This has prompted the formation of the new force, he said.

With an inclusive approach, the new front is doing formulate ideas and principles suitable to Nepal, he said.

The inaugural was attended by Upendra Yadav, chairman of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, Pradeep Giri, senior leader of Nepali Congress and Mahantha Thakur, chairman of the Terai Madhes Democratic Party, among others — an indication that the party will be more inclusive.

Thakur, in his speech, said the Madhes agitation was launched after the new constitution totally ignored their rights.

Yadav said democracy could not be inclusive unless the state gets rid of the mentality of one language.

“The people of Madhes are just demanding the implementation of the eight-point and 22-point agreements reached with the state in the past. The New Force should break the ‘one language’ mentality,” he said.

Pradip Giri of Nepali Congress said the new front should focus on people’s welfare.

Later, talking to Hindu, Bhattarai blamed the government’s conservative outlook for the violent protests. The current situation is critical and needs a political solution, he said adding that he will be traveling across Nepal to assess the kind of development Nepal is aspiring for.

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