'Big 3 to blame for delay statute'

JHAPA: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Planning and Works Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar today said the three major parties -- UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML -- were to blame for the setbacks in the constitution writing process. Addressing a press meet in Jhapa's Bhadrapur, Gachhadar said the situation had been caused by the three parties. He, however, expressed hope that the constitution would be readied within the remaining nine months if they abandoned their petty interests.

Gachhadar said some of the demands of the Maoists could be addressed by amending the interim constitution. He claimed that the ruling coalition would be able to write the new constitution.

Inviting the main opposition to join the incumbent government, he ruled out the possibility of forming a national consensus government under the Maoist's leadership.

Separately, the DPM pledged to start the building of a bridge over the Mechi River near Bhadrapur. Predictably, he was shown black flags by the UCPN-M cadres.