KATHMANDU: The House meeting was stalled today after the Unified CPN-Maoist lawmakers boycotted the meeting demanding satisfactory reply from Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on three contentious issues raised by them.

The PM had reached the Constituent Assembly Hall to address the House on the Maoists’ concerns but returned without addressing the meeting after the Maoist lawmakers threatened to boycott the parliament if his reply were not satisfactory.

Constituent Assembly Chairman Subas Nembang yesterday directed the government to clarify on the Maoists’ concerns. UCPN-M deputy leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha ‘Prakash’ had sought the PM’s reply on the three issues — import of weapons from India, the PM’s recent remark to do to Maoists what Sri Lanka did to the LTTE and Indian army chief’s remark on the the integration of Maoist combatants.

“The PM was prepared to address today’s House on these issues. But he returned thinking there was a need to talk to the Maoist leadership before replying on the issue,” Bhim Prasad Acharya, Chief Whip, CPN-UML, told THT.

He said according to the parliamentary tradition the concerned minister’s reply was enough to wrap up the contentious issue. “There is no practice to protest or boycott the House proceedings over a minister’s reply. The PM had to return, as he felt his reply would mean nothing if the Maoists launched a protest,” he added.

At the very beginning of today’s House meeting, Maoist lawmaker Dev Prasad Gurung, seeking special time, said they decided to boycott the House, as the PM did not address their concerns. After the Maoist boycott, Nembang removed all proceedings from today’s schedule and postponed the meeting until Thursday.

The PM will reply on the issues on Thursday after talking to the Maoist leaders, said UML Chief Whip Acharya.

Maoist lawmaker Gurung said the ministers had a tendency of giving formal and superficial replies. “We said it would not be acceptable to us if the PM followed the same tradition,” he added.

“It appears that the government is preparing for war. It should clear its stance,” he added.