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Nepal PM to address nation


Kathmandu : Beset with crises on all sides, including a 14-hour daily power outage, escalating prices and a growing rift between his allies, Nepal’s Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda will address the nation Sunday evening, the Prime Minister’s Office in Kathmandu said.

This will be the 55-year-old former revolutionary’s second address to the nation since assuming office in August.

In his first address, made before his departure to attend the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Prachanda had outlined the policies his government would implement to create a new, prosperous Nepal.

However, the five-month coalition government is under fire for having failed to deliver on its promise.

Besides the deteriorating security situation, the Prachanda government is fast losing its popularity over its failure to rein in cadres, who have been implicated in a series of attacks, resulting in murder and murderous assaults.

Such an attack on the cadre of a rival communist party, that is also a member of the ruling alliance, led to the latter preventing municipal officials from disposing garbage in Kathmandu valley. The obstruction resulted in the unprecedented accumulation of thousands of tonnes of garbage in the capital and its neighbourhood for 18 days.

There is also a growing dispute between the Maoists and the army, giving rise to fears of a collision between the guerrilla army of the former and the state army.

The Maoists are also at loggerheads with two of the other biggest parties in Nepal, the opposition Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (UML) that is its partner in the government.

Ties have also worsened between the former rebels and their former mentor India.

In 2006, when deposed king Gyanendra was ruling Nepal, New Delhi forged an alliance between the Maoists and the opposition parties to end the 10-year-old communist insurgency in Nepal.

However, now the Maoists are increasingly accusing the neighbouring country of trying to topple their government.

The daily Janadisha, the Maoist mouthpiece, Sunday alleged a nexus between deposed king Gyanendra, New Delhi and the UML to attack Maoist cadres.