India on Monday night welcomed the agreement reached in Nepal to hold Constituent Assembly elections by April next year as an "encouraging development in the right direction" and hoped the deadline will be maintained.
Reacting soon after Nepal's seven-party alliance reached the 23-point agreement, New Delhi said it stands ready to assist in "every possible way" the neighbouring country in its transition to a "democratic, stable, peaceful and prosperous state".
"This is an encouraging development in the right direction," External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said while commenting on the agreement that spoke about holding Constituent Assembly elections by mid-April next year.
He said the exercise of people's right to elect the Constituent Assembly in a "free, fair and fearless manner is the best way to enable the people to choose their own future".
"We hope that all concerned will work towards maintaining the new deadline for the Constituent Assembly elections," Sarna said.
Under the agreement, the Seven Party Alliance yesterday agreed to declare the country a federal democratic republic by amending the interim constitution, subject to ratification by the Constituent Assembly formed after the elections, likely to held by mid April.
The Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-Maoist), who quit the government on September 18 to press their demand for abolition of the monarchy, have agreed to rejoin the interim government, though no date has yet been finalised.