KATHMANDU, Oct 8: Though the major political parties had earlier announced to have reached an understanding to go for fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) polls, they still seem confused over whether to go for fresh polls or revive the dissolved CA to resolve the deadlock.
While Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has sought NC´s support for CA revival during his meeting with NC President Sushil Koirala on Friday, NC remains hesitant to take a stand with senior leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel still rooting for CA revival as the legitimate option to resolve the impasse.
Similarly, the UML has prioritized fresh polls but has not ruled out the option of CA revival.
As the top leaders of the parties continue to weigh the options that would benefit them the most, there are apprehensions the parties may not be able to arrive at any consensus by mid-October, a promise that the parties had made to the president recently.
"Given the progress in talks, the parties have failed to take any concrete stand on whether to hold fresh polls or revive the CA. This is unfortunate. This has saddened me," said NC CWC member Bimalendra Nidhi. "Parties should pick one of the options without any delay."
Leaders say the fear among parties that they may lose the election and their greed for power are chiefly to be blamed for their indecision on fresh polls. Maoist Chairman Dahal, who had earlier agreed to go for fresh polls, tried to solicit NC President Koirala´s support for the reinstatement of the dissolved CA promising the latter the prime minister´s berth.
Dahal arguing that it was the easiest and safest alternative to promulgate new statute proposed CA revival as he fears that fresh CA polls would not be in the favor of UCPN (Maoist) which split in June. "Parties remain indecisive as the issue of leading the government has dominated the negotiations. NC should not fall prey to this Maoist strategy to prolong the current situation," argued another NC CWC member Shekhar Koirala.
Party insiders claim NC and UML had agreed to go for fresh CA polls after the Maoists agreed to form a new national consensus government.
But the Maoists are employing this as a “time-buying tactic” to ensure that they have an upper hand. NC and UML are now in a quandary as the ruling parties, including the Madhes-based parties, want all contentious issues of new statute to be settled first before a change in government leadership.
UML Spokesperson Pradip Gyawali, however, claimed that his party is clear on its stance.
"We have already said that election is our priority. It is the Maoists who are not consistent party because it partly fears election result," said Gyawali. "While the party split will have an impact, the Maoists have a feeling that the issue of indigenous nationalities would not bring them favorable results in the election."