KATHMANDU, Nov 28: The ruling UCPN (Maoist) on Tuesday decided to convert the present Baburam Bhattarai-led government into a national consensus govenrment and reject any govenrment led by Nepali Congress or CPN-UML.
With just two days remaining for the parties to pick a consensus prime ministerial candidate as called for by President Ram Baran Yadav, the meeting of the party office bearers including bureau in-charges held at party chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s residence in Lazimpat, also said that the candidate will be someone else from within the party if not Bhattarai himself or as a last resort, from the Federal Democratic Republican Alliance (FDRA).
The Maoist party´s decision has come at the time when NC President Sushil Koirala and Vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel are staking their claims to the post of prime minister of the consensus govenrment.
"NC or UML can get prime minister´s post only after promulgation of the constitution. So, we don´t accept their prime minister now," Horibol Gajurel, UCPN (Maoist) Madhes bureau in-charge, told Republica. He also said NC and UML have no chance to lead national government because UCPN (Maoist) was the largest party in the then CA and also because the FDRA is in majority so an FDRA candidate will be prime minister if not Bhattarai himself or another UCPN (Maoist) leader.
Similarly, Shakti Bahadur Basnet, Seti-Mahakali bureau in-charge, told Republica that NC or UML candidate will be unacceptable because the two parties have already announced protests to bring down Bhattarai-led government. "Why will we accept their candidate when they reject ours," said Basnet.
Similarly, Maoist party has also decided to explore alternatives to Bhattarai within the party for heading the consensus govenrment if a consensus govenrment cannot be formed under Bhattarai.
According to Gajurel, Vice-chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Narayankaji Shrestha is Bhattarai´s alternative.
"If our party is unable to head the consensus govenrment then either Deputy Prime Minister Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar or Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur will be the FDRA candidates for prime minister," Gajurel told Republica.