Kathmandu: Altogether 500 Maoist cadres on Saturday deserted the ruling party and joined the opposition Nepali Congress, saying the organisation lacks transparency and democratic culture.
They include a dozen district committee members and 100 area committee members. Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala handed over party membership to the former Maoist workers.
Welcoming the former guerrillas, Nepali Congress president Koirala asked the Maoists to lay down arms, to dissolve their paramilitary organisation, the Young Communist League, and return the seized property in order to win the heart of the people and to clear their international image.
He asked the Maoists to conclude the peace process at the earliest and to draft a democratic Constitution so as to institutionalise democracy and establish lasting peace in the country.
There is no place for totalitarianism in this modern world, he said adding that the Nepali Congress will not compromise on the issues of human rights and democracy.
Nepali Congress general secretary Krishna Sitaula called the Maoists to be sincere towards concluding the peace process and drafting the Constitution and warned that if the Maoists do not adopt peaceful politics and democratic pluralism, they will be finished.
Ram Sharan Maharjan, the Maoist district committee member who joined the NC, said that the Maoists raise high sounding slogans but failed to translate them into practice.
There is no transparency and democratic culture in the Maoist party, he pointed out.
Rita Maharjan, another former Maoist area committee member who joined NC, said that she joined the democratic party after she found that the policy and principles of the democratic party was more attractive than that of the Maoist party which has many contradictions.