CPN-Maoist vice-chair Gajurel hints shortening 10-day bandha

Kathmandu: CPN-Maoist vice-chairman CP Gajurel has said that the nationwide 10-day long bandha called by the CPN-Maoist-led 33-party alliance from November 11 could be shortened depending on the circumstances.
Speaking at a face-to-face interaction programme organised by Reporters Club Nepal, Gajurel claimed that the ‘success’ of the bandha on November 11 will force the government to postpone the election. “This success may not require us to continue with the bandha programme,” Gajurel said. He also said if the government does not postpone the polls even after the bandha of November 11, they will come up with extra protest programmes through a meeting of the 33-party alliance on the same day.
He vowed to not allow the voters to come to the polling booths at any cost. “The government remarks to bring the voters at the booth at the behest of gun is an act of making the people prisoner than making them sovereign,” Gajurel argued.According to Gajurel, bandha will be continued on the day of election to stop the voters from reaching polling booths if the government decides to move ahead with its election plan.
“Bandha would not be completely withdrawn. We will chart out a new strategy assessing the bandha of the first day and the political circumstances. Bandha will get continuity if the government attitude remains as it is and the polls are not postpones,” he said. Bandha on 11 November will be historic one, where even a bicycle will also not be allowed plying in the street.
Stating that the peoples have accepted the bandha of 19 days during the peoples’ movement, he claimed that public will not oppose their 10-day long bandha programmes. He, however, said that bandha will not be imposed if peoples make such request.

Reiterating that they will not raise arms and make the bandha violent, Gajurel accused the state of pushing them towards the violence.  “Political parties want us to be underground, but we will not,” he said.
Informing that they have hold talks with the high level army officials, Gajurel said that the high level officials have told that they are not deployed to suppress them. He claimed that the army mobilisation for the security for the polls could create terror among the people which will ultimately serve their purpose of boycott programmes.
Gajurel warned that the CA, formed from this election despite their protests, cannot draft the constitution. “Even the constitution is drafted, we will burn it,” he threatened.
During the programme, Gajurel came down heavily against the international communities’ statement against his party’s bandha programme. Gajurel claimed the statement of the UN including international community has validated their accusation that the foreigners want constitution more than the people. Gajurel said that the statement has ‘exposed the foreign interference’ in Nepal’s internal affairs. “Either to postpone the elections or the way elections are held here, it is our internal matters. Foreigners do not need to be instructive,” he said, and added, “The statement that bandha is against law was itself against UN’s norms.”