Maoists frivolous on consensus: Shekhar

Kathmandu, May 19:

Nepali Congress leader Dr Shekhar Koirala has blamed the CPN-Maoist for not making an honest effort to forge consensus.

“We have no doubt that the Maoists should lead the next government. Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala may resign after May 28, but what will happen after that?” he questioned.

Since the Maoists do not enjoy a comfortable majority in the Constituent Assembly, they should either form a government on the basis of consensus or muster two thirds majority, but they are lagging behind on both counts, Dr Koirala told this daily today.

According to him, chances of consensus are slim. All parties, save the Maoists, want to replace the constitutional provision of a two third majority to form or remove government with a simple majority, he said. “The Maoists are against the amendment,” Dr Koirala charged.

He said when the Nepali Congress was the largest party in the interim parliament, it made many compromises. “Now, it is the Maoists’ turn to show flexibility.”

“We spelt out our conditions for supporting the Maoist-led government to make sure that the Maoists adhere to democratic principles, but they are still adamant on their stance,” he said.

CPN-UML leader Shankar Pokharel said there was no alternative to forge consensus to form a government. He said the country was moving in the right direction though progress was slow due to the Maoists’ obsession with the issue of government formation.

“The Maoists should focus on reorganising the democratic alliance by taking newly- emerged forces into confidence.

Then they should try to form the government on the basis of common understanding. Right now, they are doing just the opposite,” he said.

Maoist leader Mohan Baidya ‘Kiran’ said the NC, by spelling out its conditions, hinted that they did not want to quit power and pave the way for the formation of a new government under Maoist leadership.

“Other parties are demanding to replace a two third majority with a simple majority at a time when the Maoists are poised to lead the government. Why did they not raise this issue before?” Baidya asked. He said there still were some challenges, but a solution to current problems could be worked out.