Pro-republic leaders stress vigilance in safeguarding republicanism


November 9, 2023


Pro-republic leaders stress vigilance in safeguarding republicanism

Leaders of major political parties at a meeting/File Photo

KATHMANDU: The surge of “social media disorder” has left the country’s top leaders apprehensive and alarmed, recognizing the potential risks it poses to the stability of the republican system itself, as highlighted during Tuesday’s meeting convened by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda.”

The focus was on the pressing concern of maintaining order amidst this “digital turbulence,” a source claimed.

During the meeting of the “pro-republican forces,” Prime Minister Dahal asserted, “Attempts have been made to resurrect the monarchy. There are also efforts to fuel ethnic and religious tensions, with calls for a Hindu state.”

He stressed the importance for the signatories of the peace agreement to remain vigilant in safeguarding democracy and driving change.

Prime Minister Dahal emphasized the importance of unity, highlighting the defensive stance of the parties involved in the peace process and the aggressive nature of the anti-constitutional parties.

He also emphasized the need to regulate both social media and traditional media to ensure that freedom of the press remains intact.

UML Chairman Oli, endorsing the Prime Minister’s proposal, voiced concerns over the escalating chaos on social media and called for an investigation into the activities of Durga Prasai, citing alleged investments in Cambodia’s telecommunications.

According to the source, Oli questioned, “Is the system or the government to blame for the prevailing disillusionment? Perhaps it is not ours. The crux lies in the government’s weaknesses.”

He emphasized that anarchy must be halted, and democracy should thrive.

NC President Deuba also expressed his views in favor of the necessity of social media regulation, reflecting his reserved stance on the matter.

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister and Chairman of Nepal Samajwadi Party Dr. Baburam Bhattarai suggested the enactment of a law to regulate social media while safeguarding the freedom of the press.

Prime Minister Dahal’s primary intention for convening the meeting was to address his concerns about the crisis within the system.

Consequently, he exclusively invited the “12-point pro-republican” parties, omitting the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the Rastriya Swatantra Party.

PM Dahal is also apprehensive that Mayor of Kathmandu Metropolitan City, Balen Shah, and RSP Chairman Rabi Lamichhane have shown sympathies towards the former king.

He believes that regressive forces are attempting to manipulate the situation, emphasizing the significance of federalism and secularism, which he asserts are intrinsically linked to republicanism and inclusivity.

Sources reveal that while all parties stood united in support of the republic, dissenting views on secularism from NC President Deuba and federalism from UML Chairman Oli were brought to light.

Oli emphasized the paramount importance of upholding the democratic republic, leaving no room for questioning.

While Oli expressed doubts about federalism, NC President Deuba voiced reservations regarding secularism, affirming, “Since we have forsaken the monarchy, there is no turning back. We initially favored a Hindu state but later embraced secularism.”

Notably, UML influential figures, including Gokul Baskota, have openly opposed federalism.

Some NC leaders have staunchly advocated for a Hindu state. Although not scheduled as an agenda item for the upcoming general committee meeting, the majority of the NC Mahasamiti leaders are prepared to discuss the matter.

Sources further reveal that some NC leaders, including Shekhar Koirala, have intensified pressure within the party, urging support for a Hindu state.

The Maoist Center, meanwhile, considers federalism and secularism as significant accomplishments, emphasizing the unity among the 12-point supporters to safeguard these achievements and stressing that a commitment from the top echelons has been made to uphold the hard-fought gains.