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Nepal President to visit India despite crisis at home

world Updated: Dec 24, 2012 00:00 IST
Utpal Parashar

Notwithstanding the ongoing constitutional and political crisis at home, Nepal President Ram Baran Yadav will go ahead with his scheduled India visit beginning Monday.

In view of the stalemate over formation of a national unity government leaders of several political parties had urged Yadav to cancel the six-day official trip till resolution of the logjam.

“Since it’s a question of bilateral ties, the President will go ahead with his India visit,” informed Rajendra Dahal, media advisor to Yadav. This will be his third visit to the southern neighbour in three years.

During this visit Yadav will be conferred a D. Litt. at the Benares Hindu University besides holding official meetings with his counterpart Pranab Mukherjee and other political leaders in New Delhi.

Before leaving for India Yadav would meet leaders of all parties represented in the dissolved Constituent Assembly on Monday morning and try to resolve the impasse at the earliest.

It’s been a month since Yadav gave his first deadline to parties to form the unity government on November 23 after the ruling Maoist-Madhesi coalition failed to hold elections on the announced date.

But despite four extensions of that deadline, ruling parties and those in opposition are at loggerheads on which party should head the unity government comprising all parties.

The last deadline expired on Saturday and efforts are underway either to extend it one more time or forge consensus before Yadav leaves for India on Monday afternoon.

“The (President’s) visit will send a positive message if it is made after resolving the deadlock,” Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala told a party gathering on Saturday.

The present crisis began in May following dissolution of the Constituent Assembly without a constitution and escalated after the government failed to hold elections on November 22.

The parties need to select a prime minister through consensus to head the unity government, which will oversee the next parliamentary elections expected to be held in May next year.

While the opposition wants Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to quit before any deal on consensus, the ruling coalition has refused to budge and have instead urged them to join the present government.