KATHMANDU, Oct 16: After making acrimonious statements about each other in public forums over the past few days, President Ram Baran Yadav and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Tuesday held nearly three-hour long meeting in their efforts to reconcile differences.
The meeting between the head of the state and the head of government also focused on the current political deadlock with the deadline set by the parties to forge consensus on all contentious issues ending Tuesday.
Talking to media persons after the meeting, Prime Minister Bhattarai said the meeting focused on finding a way out of the current political deadlock. “We had a positive discussion in a cordial atmosphere. There has been an understanding that we should find a way out of the current deadlock through close coordination between the president´s office and the prime minister´s office," he said.
The president and the prime minister both shared concerns that the historic achievements of the Janaandolan II such as republicanism, secularism and federalism would be in jeopardy if the two institutions fail to work in harmony. "The achievements of Janaandolan II can be institutionalized only if these two institutions ensure positive cooperation," the prime minister told media persons.
Earlier, while President Yadav had stated that he would not remain a mute spectator if the parties failed to arrive reach consensus, the prime minister had publicly asked the president not to meddle in the country´s politics, which he said was the business of party leaders.
According to sources, the prime minister at the outset of Tuesday´s meeting had proposed President Yadav to have a free and frank discussion on “contradictory” remarks in the media. “We seem to have some contradictory views. Let us have a free and frank discussion and resolve the issues here,” a source close to the prime minister quoted Bhattarai as saying.
The president then told the prime minister that what was reported in the media was not exactly true. “Nevertheless, I in my capacity as the guardian and protector of the country, had repeated the need for forming a national consensus government to give the country a way out of the current deadlock," the source quoted the president as saying.
While reiterating that he had never overstepped jurisdiction, Yadav told Bhattarai that he plans to repeat the same request to the parties in an all-party meeting scheduled for Friday. "I have never overstepped constitutional jurisdiction, nor will I do so in the future," said the president.
Likewise, Bhattarai had clarified that he had not criticized the president at a personal level as reported in the media.
Press advisor to the president Rajendra Dahal said the meeting focused exclusively on finding a way out of the current deadlock. "The president and the prime minister held discussions on resolving the political deadlock," he said.