KATHMANDU, Jan 8: As major political parties failed to give any solution in ending the protracted deadlock despite rounds of talks for months, leaders of opposition parties, including Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML, have lately started to discuss about alternative plans on breaking the impasse.
Various leaders within the NC and UML argued that they shouldn´t remain indecisive for long as it would only benefit Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. They admit that confusion reigns in both the parties as their leaders are in a fix.
Groups of leaders within the NC and CPN-UML have lately argued that it is high time the opposition alliance led by the NC and CPN-UML came up with some alternative plans as Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai was benefiting from the opposition´s firm stance in favor of Sushil Koirala´s candidacy and their lack of alternative options.
The NC and UML-led opposition alliance last month proposed Koirala as its common prime ministerial candidate. But the standoff between the opposition and ruling alliance deepened as the opposition demanded immediate exit of the prime minister while the ruling camp rejected Koirala´s candidacy outright.
"Leaders have lately realized the need for an alternative plan. It is palpable in opposition parties but no one is ready to speak out within the NC and other parties as well," an NC leader told Republica preferring anonymity.
Since Koirala´s candidacy was unanimously proposed by the NC´s Central Working Committee, it is unlikely that the same body will change the decision because Koirala commands majority in the party´s central body.
Some leaders believe that the NC may choose to stand for revival of the dissolved Constituent Assembly (CA) instead of seeking yet another prime ministerial candidate because former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and party´s Vice-President Ram Chandra Paudel are still for seeking political solutions by reinstating the elected body.
"The NC is still unanimous in favor of Koirala´s candidacy. If the party came to a conclusion that the chances of party president becoming prime minister is slim, the party is likely to go for CA revival instead of seeking another prime ministerial candidate," former NC lawmaker Ramesh Lekhak, who is believed to be close to Deuba, told Republica.
While conceding that a sense of confusion is palpable in the opposition parties in the recent days, UML leaders said the onus is on the NC and Koirala. They said the UML and its leaders cannot take any decision since the party has already taken an institutional decision in favor of Koirala´s candidacy.
A UML leader said his party can´t change its official decision because there is no any contextual change nor is there a logical ground to withdraw its support.
UML´s youth leader Rajan Bhattarai said it is the NC that needed to clarify over various options discussed in the recent days. He said the NC should make it clear if the party still wants to give continuity to Koirala´s candidacy by convincing other parties about the relevance of his candidacy with strong grounds.
"It is the NC that should look for alternatives. UML and other opposition parties can´t do it at first because they can´t break their promise," Bhattarai said. "And it is the NC that should make announcement if the opposition parties need to go for agitation to unseat the government."