Accusing the ruling alliance of "betrayal", Nepal's main opposition Maoist party today issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the embattled prime minister to quit, warning that the failure to do so would result in a "serious crisis" in the country.
Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had agreed to step down to secure the support of United CPN Maoist party, which has nearly 40 percent of the seats in the Parliament, to extend by one year the Constituent Assembly's term that was to expire last Friday.
Narayankaji Shrestha, a top Maoist leader, accused the 22-party ruling coalition of trying to deceive his party by misinterpreting the crux of the agreement.
Shrestha warned that the Prime Minister's failure to resign within five days of the deal would result in serious crisis. "Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal must resign by Tuesday evening," he was quoted as saying by the Himalayan Times daily today.
Hardline Maoist leader Mohan Vaidya “Kiran” said the Prime Minister has given verbal assurance to resign within five days while signing the three-point agreement to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly on May 28.
A situation of mistrust will prevail if they fail to stick to the three-point agreement, Vaidya warned.
The Maoists daily, Janadisha, quoted Vaidya as saying that the failure of the prime minister to step down within five days of the deal would result in "serious crisis."
"We must not let that happen," he told the paper. "The prime minister's resignation has to come in five days."
Maoist spokesman Dinanath Sharma in a statement today said the party now "appeals to the prime minister and the political parties to remain true to their commitments... and to create a conducive environment for consensus".
Leaders of the three major political parties - the main Opposition CPN-Maoist, the Nepali Congress and the prime minister's Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist Leninist) - met today but failed to reach an agreement to put into practice the May 28 deal.
Although the Maoist leadership claims that the Prime Minister had given assurance to quit within five days, the ruling alliance denies having any such deal, saying the Nepal is in no hurry to resign. He has not given any time bound assurance for resignation, said Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi.
He will resign only in two conditions: if consensus is reached to move forward the peace process and complete the drafting of the constitution and when all parties agree to form a national consensus government.