With less than four days remaining for the deadline given by Maoists to the Nepal government to end, political parties in the Himalayan nation have stepped up efforts to end the ongoing political impasse.
On Tuesday, Chairman of Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ left for Singapore on a two day visit. He is likely to meet Nepali Congress chief GP Koirala who is recuperating there.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal who joined office on Monday after a week-long bout with illness also met several senior politicians and discussed the present situation in the country.
The Maoists who had blocked Singha Durbar, the official seat of Nepal government, for two days last week had given the government time till November 20 to address their demands or else face a more violent agitation.
The Maoist government led by Prachanda had lost power in May this year after the President Ram Baran Yadav refused to accept its move to remove the Army chief. Since then, the party has been agitating to restore ‘civilian supremacy’ and seeking and apology from the President.
Although UCPN-Maoist leaders maintained that Prachanda’s visit is personal, but since senior party leaders like Krishna Bahadur Mahra are accompanying him, it is assumed that there could be more to the trip.
“The Chairman is going on a personal visit and it had been fixed long back. But since Koirala is also in Singapore, there is a likelihood of both meeting,” said Dinanath Sharma, UCPN-Maoist spokesperson.
Koirala who had appealed to all parties to find a solution to the impasse through talks is undergoing treatment at Singapore for respiratory problems. His daughter Sujata Koirala, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, is present with him.
There was also rumour that president of Communist Party of Nepal-UML Jhalanath Khanal would also take a trip to Singapore, but sources close to him refuted them.
In Kathmandu, Prime Minister Madav Kumar Nepal kept himself busy in meetings with senior CPN-UML leader KP Oli, Chairman of Constituent Assembly Subhash Nembang and Executive President of Nepali Congress Sushil Koirala.
Although details of the meetings were not available, it is understood that the leaders discussed the Maoist ultimatum and also ways to pass the budget, which has got delayed by over four months.