Nepali Congress to boycott PM`s functions

The Prime Minister`s Office has exerted pressure on the state-run Nepal Television not to broadcast news related with opposition parties.

Kathmandu: Nepali Congress, the main opposition party, has decided to boycott the public functions attended by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and his cabinet members to protest against his controversial move to hold fresh election to the Constituent Assembly.

A meeting of the central committee of the party has announced two-week-long-protest programmes including boycotting the Prime Minister and other ministers, said Nepali Congress general secretary Prakash Man Singh.

"In addition to that, the party will hold rallies and public meetings across the country starting from June 17 to expose the Maoists` move to capture power in the pretext of holding fresh election for the Constituent Assembly," said Singh.

"We will reach out to people at all the 240 constituencies in the country with a view to generating public awareness about the unconstitutional move of Prime Minister Bhattarai to announce the polls without consulting with other political parties, he said.

"The party will organise interaction programme at grassroots levels and whistle rallies all over the country to expose the undemocratic and totalitarian moves of the government", he said.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister`s Office has exerted pressure on the state-run Nepal Television not to broadcast news related with the opposition parties through verbal instruction.

According to a senior reporter associated with the NTV, Prime Minister`s Office and the Ministry of Communication and Information have separately issued orders against broadcasting any programme of the opposition through the state -run television.

The order from PMO comes in the wake of live telecast of the anti-government protest rally by 22 political parties including the Nepali Congress by state run NTV last week.

The PM Office has also asked the television journalists not to broadcast any programme of the opposition parties, according to sources at NTV.

The 22 parties have been asking the Prime Minister to resign to pave way for formation of a national government.

The Federation of Nepal Journalists` branch at the NTV and the NTV staff union have issuing separate statements expressed concern over the government`s attitude against the free press and interference of the autonomous body.