KATHMANDU, Dec 30: As there is no dialogue among the leaders of the major political parties for the last couple of days on ending the protracted political deadlock, key leaders have started talks with some noted civil society leaders on the issue.
Leaders´ interactions with civil society members is being watched with keen interest as UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, among others, have lately floated the idea of forming an election government under the leadership of a civil society leader.
Bhattarai on Saturday reached the residence of civil society leader Devendra Raj Pandey at Bishalnagar and held a brief discussion with him while taking stock of current political affairs. Pandey, however, declined to divulge what transpired during the meeting.
Meantime, two other noted civil society leaders Damannath Dhungana and Padma Ratna Tuladhar visited CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal at the latter´s residence at Dallu on Saturday morning.
Tuladhar said their meeting with Khanal was a part of their series of meetings aimed at creating pressure among big parties for serious and well-planned negotiations with proper homework.
"We have repeatedly been urging the top leaders to hold well-planned inter-party negotiations in the presence of witnesses or facilitators and to maintain records of the discussions and understandings reached during the talks," Tuladhar told Republica.
"We told leaders that the country has wasted years in such dramas. It is high time we worked seriously to end the stalemate," he explained. "They respond positively to our proposal but there is no change in their working style."
They held similar discussions with Prime Minister Bhattarai last week.
Asked if they discussed the proposal to form election government under the leadership of a civil society leader, Tuladhar said that the discussion on the matter was not so focused because none of the major political parties have officially decided to accept independent candidate for heading the new government.
"Although Prachandaji [Dahal] and the prime minister have talked about this in public, their party has not yet taken any decision to this effect," said Tuladhar.
These meetings have taken place at a time when leaders hardened their respective positions in the recent days. While opposition parties have been insisting on immediate exit of Bhattarai, the ruling parties and mainly the prime minister is against handing over the mantle to Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, who has been proposed as consensus candidate of the opposition alliance.
Leaders from the ruling and opposition camps, who used to hold rounds of meetings within a day in the past, have not held even a single meeting ever since President Ram Baran Yadav on last Monday gave five days for political parties to agree on a common prime ministerial candidate.