KATHMANDU, Dec 3: Leaders from Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-Maoist on Sudnay held serious discussions on ways to concentrate their efforts to unseat the present government, sensing that the ruling coalition was using ´one tactics after another´ to prolong its stay in power.
Leaders from the two opposition parties concluded that the longer the present ruling coalition stays in power the more the government is likely to make compromises on crucial national issues.
"Both sides concluded that the ruling parties were trying to create Nepal as a battleground for international forces by prolonging the transitional period and creating further anarchy," CPN-Maoist Secretary Dev Gurung told Republica. "Therefore, we decided to concentrate all our efforts to oust this government."
Gurung and the party´s vice-chairman CP Gajurel also went to NC President Sushil Koirala´s residence at Maharajgunj to discuss the matter on Sunday.
According to Congress Spokesman Dilendra Prasad Badu, leaders from the two sides agreed to intensify protest against the government if the ruling leaders didn´t seriously respond to the opposition through dialogues.
Opposition parties including the NC and CPN-UML announced month-long agitation last month but later withdrew some of the protest programs following the president´s call for formation of consensus government.
"We postponed some of our protest programs with an intention to create an environment conducive for forging consensus among the major political forces," said Badu. "If the ruling sides interpret our flexibility as weakness then we will certainly step up our protest."
Both Gurung and Badu said that leaders from both the sides construed recent statements by ruling parties as a ploy to create confusion among the opposition parties.
During the talks, leaders from the CPN-Maoist, which is the breakaway faction of ruling UCPN (Maoist), enquired Koirala if the NC had softened its stance against the present government and was planning to join the coalition as claimed by ruling leaders. "Koiralaji rubbished the reports and ruled out any possibility of joining the Bhattarai-government terming it as unacceptable," said Gurung.
However, leaders at a meeting of office-bearers of the ruling UCPN (Maoist) concluded that the chances of NC and UML joining the present government was increasing in comparison to the past.
Bhattarai must go: Khanal
CPN-UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal Sunday reiterated his stance that Prime Minister Bhattarai must exit from the office to pave the way for forming a consensus government and ruled out any possibility of his party joining the Bhattarai-led coalition.
"Consensus government can´t be formed under Baburam Bhattarai´s leadership under any pretext. I repeat it is simply impossible, period. I stress no ifs and buts," said Khanal at an interaction convened by Reporters Club.
Khanal insisted that Bhattarai´s exit was must to find a consensus candidate for the new government. "Otherwise, the country will plunge into a confrontation," he said. He was confident enough in claiming that that the opposition parties would come up with a common candidate to lead the election government immediately after Bhattarai paves the way.
He urged leaders from all the political parties not to change their stance on the pressure from external forces. "We can´t expect anything good from politicians if any of them change their stance at the behest of foreign leaders," he said.