Singh is made Supreme Leader of the Democratic Movement
With a little less than one month left for the People’s Movement, Nepali Congress and United Left Front got into action. Because the United Left Front was a newly formed party, it was a little difficult for them to organize committees within all tiers, nevertheless their efforts was commendable, and fruitful.
Similarly, both parties also agreed that Ganesh Man Singh would serve as the Supreme Leader of Nepal’s Democratic Movement.
With Singh as the movement’s Supreme Leader, parties began to form their respective action committees. In NC’s Central Action Committee, Jagannath Acharya would serve as the coordinator with Marshall Julum Shakya, Shailaja Acharya, P L Singh, Omkar Shrestha, and Bal Bahadur KC as members. Similarly, Haribol Bhattarai, Tirtharam Dangol, Shri Ram Shrestha, Gyanendra Karki, Prakash Man Singh, Bal Krishna Khand, and Nabindra Raj Joshi served as action committee leaders within different tiers.
Similalry, in ULF formed a Secretariat of members Sahana Pradhan, Radha Krishna Mainali, Nilambar Acharya, Krishna Raj Burma, Lilamani Pokhrel, Shyam Krishna Koju and Siddhilal Singh.
NC’s Central Action Committee and ULF’s Secretariat, with Singh as their Supreme Commander agreed to work together regarding the coordination and execution of the People’s Movement.
The announcement of 1st February, 1990
On 1st February, 1990, an announcement pertaining to the activities of the first two days of the movement was made.
“On 18th February, 1990, people of Kathmandu, carrying their party flags in their hands, will organize a mass rally. This rally is aimed at ending the 29 year old Panchayat system in Nepal. The rallies will culiminate in Khulla Manch as a general assembly. In the assembly, leaders will declare all political parties of Nepal as free and independent. This assembly will also be supported by the members of United Left Front. On 19th February, we will announce and enforce a nationwide general strike. This movement will continue until the government of Nepal agrees to introduce a multi-party democratic system in Nepal. Members are urged not to discontinue their activities until and unless an official announcement is made by leaders of the movement “.
Arrests, house arrests, and clamp down on the media:
After the announcement and prior to the start of the movement, the government started to clamp down on pro-democratic groups – beginning with media personnel who were writing for the movement. Many journalists, editors, and newspaper owners were detained. However, people continued to write.
Seven days before the movement, leader of United Left Front Sahana Pradhan was arrested. NC’s Mahendra Narayan Nidhi was arrested in Janakpur.
On 17th February, 1990, a day ahead of the movement, Ganesh Man Singh, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai and Girija Prasad Koirala were placed under house-arrest. Surveillance around their homes was increased.