KATHMANDU, Oct 28: Floating a two-page proposal on ending the political deadlock, UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Saturday intensified parleys with key leaders from major opposition parties Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML, only to get rejected.
Dahal held separate talks with NC President Sushil Koirala, UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal and UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal on Saturday.
Dahal proposed that his party was ready to accept NC leadership of a new government if the NC is ready to revive the Constituent Assembly (CA) for the purpose of promulgating a new constitution. In his second option, Dahal proposed to other parties to join a Baburam Bhattarai-headed election government if the opposition parties are going to stick to the option of fresh elections.
But all three leaders -- Koirala, Khanal and Nepal -- turned down both of Dahal´s proposals.
"I rejected both of his proposals because this is not the time to discuss CA revival. And we can´t even imagine joining a government led by Baburam Bhattarai," Nepal told Republica.
Nepal, who called on President Ram Baran Yadav later in the day, told him that his party wouldn´t accept any proposal to prolong the present government´s stay in power for even a couple of days, under any pretext.
He said that the country is going to face a serious constitutional as well as financial crisis due to lack of an annual budget but his party wouldn´t relent in its stance against the present coalition. "I made it clear before the president that it has become urgent to take serious initiatives toward forming a consensus government because we are completely against giving continuity to the present government even for a couple of days," said former prime minister Nepal.
UML Chairman Khanal also turned down Dahal´s proposal and insisted that they would enter into discussions on options only after the present government´s exit and the formation of a consensus-based government. "He has floated two options-- reviving the CA or going for fresh elections," Khanal told Republica, "But I told him that we can discuss the options only after the present government´s exit and formation of a new government."
Khanal said he didn´t find anything new in Dahal´s proposal. "The only new thing in today´s proposal is that this time it is in writing," he said. "May be this time he came up with a written document in a bid to convince us that he wouldn´t flip-flop in the days to come."
Dahal also failed to impress NC President Koirala. The NC chief has smelt a rat in Dahal offering NC the government leadership if the CA is revived. He claimed that the motive is to get the NC into trouble. "So, I rejected both his proposals to revive the CA or to join the Baburam Bhattarai-headed government," Koirala told reporters at his residence after his meeting with Dahal. "Prachandaji [Dahal] himself told me that Jhalanathji and Madhav Nepalji have already turned down his proposals and I don´t see any point in the NC accepting it either."
The main opposition NC has been divided over the proposal for reviving the CA. While a section of party leaders led by Koirala is firmly against the revival option, a group including former primer minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and party Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel are lobbying for reinstating the CA that saw its demise on May 27 without having produced a new constitution.
However, Dahal said he was optimistic over the major parties finding common ground somewhere around his proposals in the next couple of weeks.
He endorsed the proposals at a meeting of office bearers of his party earlier on Saturday morning before he held a series of talks with NC and UML leaders.
Dahal intensified his parleys with other parties a day after he informed President Ram Baran Yadav about his proposals. The president had suggested to Dahal to get the support of other parties for his ideas.