Can the private sector tame ultras?
Since the government today sought private sector's help to foil the general strike tomorrow called by the 33-party alliance led by the CPN-Maoist, could the private sector tame the ultras, who are hellbent on disrupting the Constituent Assembly (CA) election scheduled for November 19.
The poll opposing 33-party alliance led by the breakaway faction of the UCPN-Maoist has, though reduced their 10-day general strike to only one day for tomorrow and announced transportation strike for the remaining days till November 20, will the private sector dare to open industries and challenge, like once before, and send a clear message that 'enough is enough'.
If the private sector dare to send a clear message to the ultras, it might change the thinking pattern of political parties in the future.
The alliance that has been opposing the idea of CA election under the 'unconstitutional' government, – since the formation of the incumbent government led by Chief Justice Khil Raj Regmi may have its own political agenda but taking the country hostage and blackmailing the bureaucratic government might backfire them as the people and the country will have to pay the price not Regmi or Baidhya's disciple Puspa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda.
Today finance minister Shankar Prasad Koirala, who is also commerce and supplies, and trade minister sought the private sector's help in foiling the general strike. "The private sector has defied bandh earlier too," he said, asking the entrepreneurs to keep schools, shops and industries open and let public vehicles ply on the streets. "A day of bandh would cost the country around Rs 2.5 billion per day," Koirala added.
Urging the private sector to lead in government's efforts to foil the general strike, the minister also promised 90 per cent compensation for the vehicles damaged. "Since the dissenting parties are not in a mood to listen to the government, they might listen to the private sector," he said, adding that the business fraternity might help normalise political environment.
The chieftain of the private sector, on the occasion, committed to defy the bandh and hold talks with the CPN-Maoist and its leaders provided the government guarantees security.
"Though, we have always been against bandhs, the entrepreneurs will not get into confrontation and try to deal the issue peacefully," assured president of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) Suraj Vaidya.
However, the Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) president Narendra Kumar Basnyat said that they will defy the bandh, if the government guarantee the security.
Despite the government's warning to take strong action against the poll-opposers, the ultras have not given much ear to it. The psychological war between the government and ultras is going to cost the country, if the private sector could not work its magic again.