KATHMANDU, Oct 9: UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal at a meeting with Nepali Congress (NC) leaders on Monday floated a proposal to reinstate the Constituent Assembly (CA).
According to leaders present at the meeting held at NC President Sushil Koirala´s residence in Maharajgunj, NC leaders responded to Dahal´s proposal saying that they want to hold further discussions before taking a final decision.
"Dahal floated the proposal to revive the CA. I am positive because I have been advocating for CA reinstatement," NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba told reporters after the meeting.
He also said that the proposal to revive the 601-member body is the better option as it poses less risk.
UCPN (Maoist) Spokesperson Agni Prasad Sapkota said that Dahal floated the proposal at the meeting because the party is open to both the options -- reviving the CA or going for fresh CA elections.
Cartoon: Rabin Sayami
"Our party chairman floated the proposal to revive the CA because presence of legislature has become essential even if we want to go for fresh elections as we need to amend various election-related provisions in the interim constitution and other laws," Sapkota told Republica.
The ruling party´s proposal comes at a time when opposition parties including NC and CPN-UML are sharply divided over the proposal to revive the CA.
In the NC, senior leader Deuba and party Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel are for reviving the CA, while party President Sushil Koirala is reluctant to reinstate the jumbo body.
Earlier in the day, a meeting of UCPN (Maoist) office-bearers had decided to be flexible on both the options. The meeting held at the prime minister´s official residence at Baluwatar had also decided to expedite negotiations with other political parties for consensus.
According to the prime minister´s political advisor, Devendra Paudel, Dahal said at the meeting that the party would take the initiative to end the ongoing political stalemate. "He [Dahal] said that we should reach consensus soon to either go for fresh polls or revive the CA," said Paudel.