KATHMANDU, June 1: Caretaker Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai has started reaching out to top leaders of other political parties in a bid to foster an environment for national consensus.
On Thursday evening, the prime minister held a meeting with CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal at the latter´s residence at Dallu. The duo held discussions on the political situation after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (CA) on Sunday and on ways to address the obtaining constitutional uncertainty, according to sources close to the prime minister.
According to his personal assistant Ram Babu Adhikari, Chairman Khanal told the prime minister that the latter had shattered the environment of consensus by ´unilaterally´ dissolving the CA. He also cautioned the prime minister that the nation would head towards disaster if the prime minister chose to push ahead on the basis of personal and partisan interests.
"All you have to do is step down and pave the way for the formation of a national unity government, which alone can save the country from a political quagmire," UML Publicity Department Secretary Surya Thapa quoted Khanal as telling Bhattarai.
The prime minister also held a telephonic conversation with Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala Thursday and is scheduled to meet him in person at 8 a.m., Friday. Sources close to Baluwatar said the prime minister is scheduled to hold meetings with the top leaders of various other political parties also.
Earlier in the morning, the prime minister apprised President Dr Ram Baran Yadav over the telephone that the government was putting in efforts to create an environment of national consensus. The prime minister also informed the president that he had taken positively the statement of the President´s Office Tuesday, designating him a caretaker PM.
The prime minister´s reaching out to other parties comes in the wake of the NC and UML forging an alliance with various fringe parties and preparing to launch protests to oust him to, as they put it, pave the way for a national consensus government.
Top leaders of the NC and UML had held a meeting at the residence of NC General Secretary Prakash Man Singh at Chaksibari Thursday morning to chalk out strategy for pressuring the prime minister to vacate his post. Likewise, NC President Sushil Koirala held a separate meeting with Nepal Workers Peasant Party Chairman Narayan Man Bijukchhe in Bhaktapur.