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No interference in government formation, Saran tells Nepal Maoists

world Updated: Aug 05, 2010 13:27 IST
Utpal/HT Correspondent

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s special envoy to Nepal Shyam Saran on Thursday assured the Maoist leadership that India was not interfering in formation of next government in the Himalayan nation.

In a meeting with Maoist leaders at Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’s’ residence, Saran stated that India was interested in peace, stability and consensus among parties to draft the next constitution.

After failing in three rounds of voting, Nepal’s Constituent Assembly will again attempt to elect a new prime minister on Friday.

Saran’s visit ahead of the fourth round of voting is being witnessed as a crucial development that might end the political deadlock among parties.

“We discussed the current political situation in Nepal. Saran said that India was not interested in playing a role in government formation,” Maoist vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha told media persons.

During the meeting that lasted nearly an hour, Saran expressed India’s concern at political impasse in Nepal that has affected the peace and constitution-drafting process.

Former foreign secretary Saran who is also a former Indian Ambassador to Nepal later met CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal.

He is expected to meet Nepali Congress acting-chairman Sushil Koirala and caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal later in the day.

Immediately after his arrival in Kathmandu on Wednesday, Saran began a series of meetings to try and persuade political parties from across the spectrum to arrive a consensus.

He had discussions with President Ram Baran Yadav and leaders of United Democratic Madhesi Front—the umbrella group of four Madhes-based parties that have 83 members in CA. EOM