Leaders hope for consensus

KATHMANDU: Top leaders of the major political parties - UCPN-Maoists, Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML - today vowed to bring to an end the lingering political standoff by tomorrow.

The leaders today

anticipated that the meeting of the legislature- parliament scheduled for Wednesday would put an end to the festering political crisis.

The statement from the top leaders came after a series of parleys failed to break the deadlock among major parties over the much-touted “sankalpa prastav”. Earlier, the three parties had prepared a draft of sankalpa prastav but the Maoists had still some reservations.

The biggest hitch in

the dialogue has been cited as the rigid stance

taken by parties over the President’s move on former army Chief Rookmangud Katawal. The differences arose as some parties objected to the contents of the draft sankalpa prastav.

Talking to The Himalayan Times today at its office, NC parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Poudel said that there was no point for the Nepali Congress to be flexible on the Maoists’ demands. Poudel said that though the NC was opposed to the Prastav, it took a flexible stance to accommodate the demands by going a step backward.

However, Poudel said that the Maoists were desiring something else in the name of “civilian supremacy.”When asked to elaborate, he said, “Maoists wanted to gain power at any cost.”

Meanwhile, Dev Gurung, member of the Maoist talk team, refuted the charges and said that the party was ready to

be flexible in seeking a solution to the festering

political deadlock. However, Gurung reiterated saying that the party would not compromise on its main demands.

“What we want in the sankalpa prastav is that it should be clearly stated that President’s step was unconstitutional,” he said, adding “But we can use dignified langue to respect the President if that happens.”

Meantime, Raghu Jee Pant, Chief political advisor to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal was optimistic about reaching a consensus agreeable to all in tomorrow’s meeting.

However, Panta echoed Poudel’s line of argument saying that not even a “word” or “symbol” against the President would be accepted that would invite president in the conflict. He also challenged the Maoists to bring a motion of non-confidence on the floor of the house if at all the Maoists were determined to topple the present government.

Maoist leader Gurung acknowledged that the talk team has fallen through for want of

guidance from top

leaders on the content of the Prastav. But NC leader Poudel said the talk

team was capable of sorting out differences.