KATHMANDU: Nepali Congress (NC) president Girija Prasad Koirala and UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ today agreed to find a middle path to end the House impasse, and form a high-level political mechanism to address all contentious issues at the earliest.

The decision was taken during a half-hour meeting between Prachanda and Koirala at the Gleneagles Hospital in Singapore, where the latter is undergoing treatment. Koirala is slated to return home on Sunday, while Prachanda will be here tomorrow.

So far, the NC and Maoist top brass are tight-lipped about the broad contours of the “middle path”. Though the solution to end the ongoing impasse remains in suspended animation, Prachanda was satisfied with his meeting with Koirala.

“The outcome of the talks was positive. We hope to reach a consensus by Friday,” he said. Incidentally, the Maoists, who ended the second phase of the mass protest to restore ‘civilian supremacy’ last Friday, had set a week’s deadline for the government to resolve the crisis. Speaking to Nepal Television over phone from Singapore, the Maoist boss said that today’s talks would pave way for an early resolution.

Back home, leaders speculated that the “middle path” could take a final shape only after the duo held consultations with their parties and coalition partners.

Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala’s comments only deepened the mystery: “Prachanda asked my father to recall about his earlier proposal to find a solution. My father responded that it could be considered.” However, Sujata said she was ignorant of what that “earlier proposal” was.

The ex-rebels want to first put to rest the President’s ‘unconstitutional move’, and will only then rack their brains over setting up a high-level political mechanism. Prachanda and Krishna Bahadur Mahara, chief, foreign department, UCPN-M, left for Singapore yesterday to attend a party programme there.

Meanwhile, Sujata said her father was responding well to the treatment. “The glow is back on his face. He is eager to return home at the earliest,” she added.