KATHMANDU, July 16

UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal — who is on a week-long visit to India — held discussions with leaders of various opposition parties in India on Thursday.

A meeting was held at the New Delhi residence of Janata Dal (United) Chairman Sharad Yadav, where second tier leaders of other opposition parties, including Treasurer of Indian National Congress Motilal Vora, opposition leader in the Upper House of India Nawaf Ali Azad, and Chairman of Nationalist Congress DP Tripathi were present, according to Dahal’s accompanying aide Shiva Khakurel.

Ambassador of Nepal to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay had also attended.

Indian leaders expressed hope that the 16-point agreement that was struck among key political parties of Nepal last month would ensure an early constitution.

They said India has always backed Nepal’s political process and suggested that Dahal should not get stuck in the debate whether to finalise the border and names of would be-federal states, according to sources in New Delhi.

Dahal said Nepal would get a new constitution within one month as public feedback is being collected on the preliminary draft.

In one reference, the he said the new constitution would have already been promulgated in Nepal had he allowed late President of Nepali Congress Girija Prasad Koirala to be the first President of the country, sources added.

He also regretted his decision to remove ex-army chief Rukmangad Katawal in 2009 and the subsequent resignation that he had tendered after President Ram Baran Yadav turned void his decision to remove Katawal.