Thursday, August 7, 2008

PM Koirala meets MK Nepal amidst speculation that he is eager for second inning

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala appears to be on an overdrive to again secure the post of head of government two days after coming from Sri Lanka visit to attend the SAARC summit with a brief stopover in New Delhi to meet top Indian leaders.

PM Koirala, who heads a caretaker government after he resigned from the post weeks earlier, met former general secretary of United Marxist Leninist (UML) Madhav Nepal Thursday and discussed the issue of government formation.

During the meeting held at the house of a UML leader in the morning, the leaders of the two major parties in the Constituent Assembly are learnt to have reached a conclusion that the new government of national unity should be formed on consensus with all the parties. However, they are also said to be quite sure that a new government wouldn't be formed within the timeframe set by President Ram Baran Yadav.

A Nepalnews reporter who was at the meeting venue confirmed through sources that the talks between the two leaders were indeed focused on the formation of a new government. However, he said that PM Koirala didn't prefer to comment on the hour-long discussion and also barred another NC leader and minister Ram Sharan Mahat, who accompanied him in the meeting, from talking to the media.

It is also widely believed that PM Koirala personally went to the meeting venue, something he does rarely, to meet the UML leader as he suspected that the recent hobnobbing between Maoist and UML leaders meant that the two are trying to forge an alliance in expense of NC. A source also confirmed that PM Koirala put this concern of his during the meeting.

But the UML leader brushed it off by saying that his party firmly believes that the new government should be formed "after consensus is reached between major parties".

UML has been saying that such a consensus government should be headed by CPN (Maoist).

PM Koirala, who has intensified meetings with leaders of other parities after coming returning from India, met the UML leader amidst speculation that he is eager for a second inning.

On Thursday, Koirala started what has been described as "internal consultation" with leaders of fringe parties and is expected to give it a continuity today too, focusing on the possibility of forming a government sans Maoists. He is also scheduled to meet Rastriya Janashakti Party chief Surya Bahadur Thapa later today.

Meanwhile, UML general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal held meeting with British ambassador Andrew Hall at his residence today wherein they discussed the current political situation and the formation of the new government. Khana had yesterday blamed CPN (Maoist) for the undue delay in government formation

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