Shyam Saran meets Nepal leaders

India's special envoy to Nepal, Shyam Saran, on Thursday met political leaders here to help build a consensus on formation of a government that can take the peace process and the task of Constitution writing to a conclusion by next year's new deadline.

Mr. Saran, accompanied by Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood, met Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda' at the latter's residence. Party vice chairmen Mohan Vaidya “Kiran,” Baburam Bhattarai and Narayankaji Shrestha “Prakash,” general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa “Badal,” and chief of the international department Krishna Bahadur Mahara were present.

After the meeting, Mr. Prakash told reporters, “We had a clear, open, and cordial conversation. The special envoy made it clear India was for peace, constitution, and political consensus in Nepal and he was not here to impose his views on formation of a new government.”

Informed sources said Mr. Saran asked the Maoist leadership about the doubts among other Nepali parties about their commitment to multi-party democracy, the recent anti-India campaign of the party, and the issue of PLA (People's Liberation Army) integration and rehabilitation.

Multi-party competition

The Maoist leaders are understood to have reiterated their commitment to creating a “new political mainstream” through a Constitution that will respect “multi-party competition.” They also conveyed their desire to have warm and friendly ties with India, clear the “confusion and misunderstandings,” and build the bilateral relationship in a “new way.”

Mr. Saran also met Nepali Congress acting chairman Sushil Koirala and parliamentary party leader Ram Chandra Poudel. Mr. Poudel said later, “We conveyed to Mr. Saran that we cannot accept a Maoist-led government as long as they do not detach themselves from their military and paramilitary structure. A consensus government can only happen under the Nepali Congress leadership right now.”

Mr. Saran also met UML (Unified Marxist Leninist) chairman Jhalanath Khanal.

The UML has remained neutral in the three rounds of voting for the Prime Minister.

On Wednesday evening, Mr. Saran had dinner with leaders of the United Democratic Madhes Front (UDMF), who are in a decisive position, at the Indian Ambassador's residence.

On the condition of anonymity, a leader present at the dinner told TheHindu, “The special envoy asked us for our views on the current situation, encouraged the Madhesi front to remain united, and said a split in our ranks would harm the Madhes agenda.”

Immediately on arrival, Mr. Saran had met the former Prime Minister, Surya Bahadur Thapa, and called on President, Ram Baran Yadav.

  • He will help build consensus on formation of new government
  • Maoists desire warm and friendly ties with India

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