The logjam in Nepal over the new constitution has taken a new turn with a 30-party alliance of opposition parties led by Maoists announcing fresh protests.
The protests which will begin on March 19 and end with three consecutive days of nationwide strikes on April 9 was announced after talks between the ruling parties and the opposition failed.
"We are forced to launch fresh protests as the ruling parties are not serious on drafting a constitution based on consensus," Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda told reporters.
Prachanda's party, the third biggest block in the constituent assembly and other smaller outfits including parties from Madhes want the issue of federalism to be resolved address through consensus.
But the ruling parties, Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) insist on drafting the constitution through majority vote as efforts at consensus have failed to make headway.
"We are not against talks, but the ball lies in the court of ruling parties now," said Prachanda.
Differences over federalism led to Nepal lawmakers missing a constitution deadline on January 22 this year.