KATHMANDU, Nov 23: While brushing aside the allegation of opposition parties that he wanted to prolong his stay in power, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has reiterated that he was ready to quit the post anytime if there was a political consensus among parties.
In his televised address to the nation Thursday evening, the prime minister said the government had always exercised maximum flexibility on all issues including in the introduction of new plans and policies, allocation of ministerial portfolios and on various political decisions while assimilating the spirit of political consensus and cooperation.
“Therefore, the current government had never been hindrance to consensus in the past, nor will it be so in the future. Current government is ready to make any sacrifice or martyrdom for consensus,” he said.
The prime minister noted that it was not possible to safeguard the achievements made through Janaandolan II, draft new constitution, establish sustainable peace and build prosperous Nepal unless there is consensus among parties. “The government is ready to quit at any time if there is political consensus,” he further said.
The prime minister said that political parties must not make delay in finding common minimum grounds for consensus and forge understanding to address the challenges facing the country. “I want to make it clear to all the people that I am ready to make any kind of sacrifice for this [consensus] at personal level,” he further said.
The prime minister had made his speech to the nation after a joint meeting between UCPN (Maoist) and United Democratic Madhesi Front and a separate meeting of Federal Democratic Republican Alliance.
While saying that the CA election announced for November 22 was not possible due to obstruction by the opposition parties in bringing about consensus on necessary amendments to the related laws and in the interim constitution, the prime minister said the government was committed to holding the CA polls, indicating that he would step down immediately.
Prior to the televised speech to the nation, a cabinet meeting held in the prime minister´s office had appealed to all agitating political parties for national consensus. The cabinet decision had drawn serious attention of all political parties to the fact that support of all political was a must to start preparations for holding fresh polls scheduled for mid-May.
The cabinet decision also appealed to the political parties to forge national consensus to resolve the current deadlock, fix the date of election by resolving legal complications and form a national consensus government.
In the televised speech, the prime minister presented a list of the successes of his government. He argued that the government had achieved major success in the peace process, constitution drafting process, good governance, checking corruption, road expansion, and bringing about administrative reforms.