HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: A day after the ruling UCPN-Maoist lambasted opposition parties, particularly Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, for failure of the Constituent Assembly to draft the new constitution at a rally in Khulamanch, Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal offered an olive branch to NC president Sushil Koirala and UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.
He sought to work with the two leaders on consensus to end the current political deadlock following the CA’s dissolution.
Dahal met Koirala and Nepal at their Maharajgunj and Koteshwor residences, respectively.
After meeting Koirala, Dahal said they mainly explored ways to reach consensus to end the political deadlock. While addressing the rally, Dahal had said he was ready to make any sacrifice for the sake of national consensus.
But NC boss Koirala expressed dissatisfaction with the government and the Maoist leadership, saying that the caretaker government was moving ahead without seeking consensus among major political parties.
Dahal, however, insisted that they were ready to discuss ways to find consensus on all political issues based on which the disputed constitutional issues could also be resolved.
“There is no alternative to consensus among political parties,” Dahal told reporters and added that parties must reach understanding on formation of a national consensus government.
Koirala alleged that the Maoist party was responsible for breaking the five-point deal struck on May 15.
According to the agreement, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai was, among others, supposed to step down to form a national unity government under Congress leadership, that too, before promulgation of the new constitution on May 27.
Meanwhile, Dahal also conferred with senior UML leader and former prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal at the latter’s residence in Koteshwor, where Nepal stressed the parties first needed to remove mistrust among themselves.
“PM Bhattarai must pave the way for building an environment of trust among parties and a joint national government must be formed on consensus basis,” Bishnu Rijal, Nepal’s press adviser, quoted Nepal as saying.
According to Rijal, Nepal said other alternatives to the dissolved CA — either its revival for a limited period of time or fresh election — could be discussed only after the parties reached full-fledged agreement on all contentious issues of the new constitution, including the one related to state restructuring and federalism.
State restructuring and federalism were the two key issues on which parties failed to find consensus at the last hour, leading to the CA’s dissolution. Rijal said both leaders stressed the need for political consensus to move forward.