KATHMANDU, Dec 25: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has tried to himself reach out to Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala through NC´s youth leaders expressing dissatisfaction over Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal´s ´failure´ to properly communicate his (Bhattarai´s) ´positions´ on handing over the government leadership.
On Monday, Prime Minister Bhattarai, who is also a vice-chairman of the UCPN (Maoist), sent a ´proposal´ for consensus to NC President Sushil Koirala suggesting to him indirectly not to believe in Dahal´s remarks that the prime minister was stepping down ´anytime soon´ for consensus.
Prime Minister Bhattarai in his ´proposal´ forwarded to NC President Koirala has clearly said that he will quit only after the opposition parties first agree on a ´package deal´ on various issues concerning the peace process and fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) polls and then join his government for ´sometime´ to transform it into national consensus government.
The prime minister´s overture comes at a time when top leaders of opposition parties have been boycotting him for the past several weeks, making him unable to communicate his positions directly to them.
In a meeting with a group of NC´s youth leaders including Chandra Bhandari, Gagan Thapa and NP Saud , the prime minister had complained that even NC´s interlocutors involved in the inter-party talks had failed to communicate his ´real position´ to NC´s top leadership.
In the message sent informally to Koirala, the prime minister has proposed NC President Koirala to first agree to arrive at consensus on holding fresh Constituent Assembly (CA) polls by mid-May, resolve legal and constitutional hurdles relating to the polls, fill vacant positions in various constitutional bodies and complete the remaining tasks of peace process including forming the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and settle rank determination of Maoist combatants, who have chosen to join the national army, according to the prime minister´s aide Bishwadeep Pandey.
The prime minister has then proposed that the opposition parties including the NC should join his cabinet to give it a shape of national consensus government for ´brief period´ and only after that he would quit to pave the way for NC to head the government.
"The prime minister has proposed to form national consensus government in two stages: First transform the current government as national consensus government with the participation of opposition parties for some time and then form new national consensus government under NC´s leadership to hold the poll," said one of the NC leaders, who is entrusted to convey his proposal to NC´s leadership.
In his proposal, the prime minister has also clearly told that the Maoist party would not accept NC or UML´s leadership in government if they disagree with his proposal. Bhattarai has also proposed alternative government leadership of United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), or small parties or an independent person with political background if the opposition parties were not willing to accept his proposal for consensus.
Prime Minister Bhattarai had called a group of NC youth leaders Monday morning to convey his conditions to NC president. The meeting with the NC´s youth leaders comes a day after the prime minister publicly threatened to boycott opposition parties if they boycotted him.