KATHMANDU: A day after the UCPN-Maoist announced their protest plan, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal intensified political consultations to find a way out for passing the budget and preparing a strategy to tackle the Maoist plan.
He met President Dr Ram Baran Yadav in this regard at the latter's residence in Shital Niwas. Rajendra Dahal, press advisor to the President said it was a regular meeting and the PM briefed the President about the latest political development. However, sources said the President and the PM mainly talked about ways to pass the budget and tackle the Maoist protest.
The PM also met Nepali Congress and CPN-UML leaders at his residence. NC parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Poudel, chief whip Laxman Ghimire, Home Minister Bhim Rawal and Finance Minister Surendra Pandey and UML Chief Whip Bhim Acharya were present in the meeting.
Bhim Acharya told THT that the meeting focused on budget, Maoist protest plan and the security situation. He said though there were many ways of passing the budget from the parliament, their main priority was to do so after taking Maoists into confidence.
It is still uncertain when the top leaders of the three major parties will sit together and resolve the crisis. It is learnt that Girija Prasad Koirala's health concerns have delayed the meeting of top leaders of the three parties.

Parliament right place to pass budget: Speaker

KATHMANDU: Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang today met Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal at the latter's residence and told him that the parliament is the only place to pass the fiscal budget.
"There is no other alternative than to pass the budget from the parliament," Nembang told mediapersons after conferring with the PM. Nepal had called him to find a way out to pass the budget.
The Speaker's comment comes at a time when some of the ministers warned that the government would be forced to pass the budget from outside the parliament if the Maoist did not let the House pass the budget.
He said it was the responsibility of both the ruling and the opposition benches to pass the budget on time. "The country will reel under economic crisis if the budget is not passed on time," he said.
But UCPN-Maoist has been obstructing the parliament, demanding that the sovereign body discuss the President's "unconstitutional" move to reinstate the then army chief, Rookmangud Katawal, who was sacked by the Prachanda-led government on May 3.
Finance Minister Surendra Pandey and Minister for Culture, Federal Affairs, Parliamentary Affairs and Constituent Assembly Dr Minendra Rijal were also privy to the meeting.
Nembang said that they discussed the current political situation, including the growing bitter relations among the major political parties, and constitution making process.
"I primarily drew the PM's attention towards the House stalemate and urged him to immediately resolve the crisis through dialogue," said the Speaker. He added that the obstruction of the parliament would affect the constitution-making process.
Speaker said the PM was committed to pass the budget in the parliament. PM told Nembang that he would hold consultations with other parties in this regard and resolve the problem at the earliest. --HNS