Prerana Marasini

KATHMANDU: The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has put forward three conditions to join the government.

Party chairman Prachanda said the party would join the government if it is allowed to stay in power for two years. “I’ve put three conditions to join the government. First, we should be allowed to function for two years; second, the Nepali Congress-CPN (UML)-Madhesi Janadhikar Forum alliance needs to be broken; and thirdly, if commitments expressed in our party’s manifesto are included in the Common Minimum Programme.”

On Thursday, the Maoists held a meeting with all the 25 parties of the Constituent Assembly (CA) to discuss the issue of government formation. Mr. Prachanda, however, said the Nepali Congress (NC) was not supportive of the idea to break its alliance, but instead wanted the Maoists to join it.

Meanwhile, the two-year period Mr. Prachanda suggested earlier refers to the period during which the new Constitution would be drawn up. When their presidential candidate, Ramraja Prasad Singh, lost to the NC’s Ram Baran Yadav, the Maoists announced they would stay in the opposition.

Vice-President criticised

A day after being sworn in as Vice-President, Paramananda Jha has drawn flak for taking the oath in a ‘foreign language’ — Hindi — and for his attire during the ceremony.

Mr. Jha, nominated by the Madhes-based party, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, on Wednesday took the oath of office in Hindi.

Mr. Yadav, who hails from the Terai region (where Hindi is spoken as a ‘common language’ among Bhojpuri, Maithili and Awadhi speakers) had taken the oath in Nepali language.

Following this, demonstrations were held in Kathmandu on Wednesday, and spread to other parts of the country on Thursday.

In Kathmandu, students’ groups criticised Mr. Jha for taking the oath in a ‘foreign language’ and burnt his effigy. They said the Vice-President represents the whole nation and that he should not have ignored the national language.

The protesters have demanded an apology from Mr. Jha.