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India-educated Nepali MP resorts to Gandhigiri

With Nepal facing a constitutional crisis, the country's youngest MP has resorted to Gandhigiri to impress upon the warring political parties to bridge their differences for a consensus on extending the term of the Constituent Assembly, whose term expires on May 28.
By HT Correspondent | PTI, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2010 08:27 PM IST

With Nepal facing a constitutional crisis, the country's youngest MP has resorted to Gandhigiri to impress upon the warring political parties to bridge their differences for a consensus on extending the term of the Constituent Assembly, whose term expires on May 28.

Twenty-seven-year-old Abhishek Pratap Shah, who was educated in India and represents the Kapilvastu parliamentary constituency, began his fast on Tuesday against the current political instability plaguing Nepal.

Nepal's 22-party ruling coalition had last week introduced a bill in the 601-Assembly to extend the term of the House for one year so that it can finish the task of framing a Constitution.

Communist Part of Nepal (CPN)-Maoist party, with 229 parliamentary seats, have refused to cooperate in extending the Assembly till the Prime Minister steps down.

"Fast is the biggest non-violent weapon and Mahatma Gandhi used it. I am inspired by him and even Nelson Mandela," Shah said.

"Nepal has seen bandhs, gherao and hartal numerous times which have all hampered Nepal's economy. People here don't support any such moves now. My fast is just another way to lodge people's protest to the entire situation," Shah, who has completed his education from Lucknow, said.

Shah said, "It is time for the youth to come forward and join the political system for a change. It is important that a solution is found to the current political turmoil."

According to experts, Nepal seems to be heading towards a constitutional crisis after the ruling alliance and the main Opposition refused to budge from their old position.

Political analysts have warned that the country will face a constitutional crisis if the parties fail to extend the term of the House before it expires on May 28.

The failure of the government and Opposition leaders to resolve disagreements could leave the country without a functioning legislature by the weekend.

Diplomatic exercises have also intensified in the wake of the ongoing political stalemate.

A European Union delegation arrived in Kathmandu and started consultation with key players of Nepal.

Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Rakesh Sood, also met Prime Minister at his office and discussed the latest political developments, according to sources.

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