HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: If the opposition parties particularly the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML are carefully orchestrating their move against Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, the ruling parties are no less in countering their plans, and in some cases firing fresh salvos at them.
Days after the Unified CPN-Maoist said the chance of NC leading the next government was zero as five-point deal ceased to exist, Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar said if a new government was to be formed they would seek consensus not merely on the name of the party but also on the leader who will lead the next government. He was interacting with a group of journalists of the Reporters’ Club.
It is a clear indication that when the ruling parties will transfer power without settling issues of constitution, they would probably suggest somebody from the opposition parties whom the NC and the UML leadership might not prefer.
UCPN-M Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has already said if parties went to elections without settling issues of constitution, they would then press for a politically neutral government.
The NC has failed to name its prime ministerial candidate because it fears the move could rekindle a new triangular rivalry between party President Sushil Koirala, former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandara Poudel – all of whom harbour prime ministerial ambitions.
Gachhadar, an influential leader of Untied Democratic Madhesi Front, said consensus could emerge by mid-November when the period of one third Budget would be over. He said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai would not resign until and unless an agreement was reached on who should be the next prime minister and what the new PM should do.
Gachhadar said if parties settled issues of constitution, a new statute could be promulgated through a revived Constituent Assembly. “If that doesn’t happen, we have no option but to hold elections for next CA. We are ready to discuss on the reduction of the size of the CA and fixing a reduced tenure of it,” he added.
Gachhadar, however, lamented that none of the leaders except the President, had tried to forge consensus. He went on to say the government’s first year in office was a success because it was this government that seriously attempted to bring peace process to its final conclusion. “We have succeeded in checking crimes. We have expanded roads in the Capital which did not happen in the last 30 years,” he said.