Grave crisis if PM quits now: Dahal The Maoist boss says govt handover to Nepali Congress only after consensus is had

KATHMANDU, JUL 23 UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Sunday said Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai’s resignation at this juncture will lead the country to a grave political crisis.
He, however, said Bhattarai would put in his papers to pave way for a Nepali Congress-led consensual government once there is new agreement among the parties.
In its recent seventh plenum, the ruling party concluded that its official position should be promulgating the new constitution from the Constituent Assembly (CA).
“We should begin where we left off when the Constituent Assembly was deadlocked and dissolved. Once there is a deal, we are ready to hand over the government leadership to the Nepali Congress,” Dahal told a press conference organised here to publicise the decision of the plenum.

Dahal’s statement comes at a time when opposition parties have warned that they will hit the streets to unseat Bhattarai. The parties say Bhattarai’s resignation is the only move that will make way for consensus and end the constitutional and political crises the country is facing after the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly on May 27.

“We have no intention of prolonging the tenure of the government by even a day, but the PM will not resign without consensus,” Dahal said. He said parties are working to have the ever elusive agreement.

After the plenum, the Maoist party has come up with a clear position on whether to for for CA elections or revival of the dissolved CA.

“Our official position is that there must be CA elections through consensus among political parties, but we are open to discussions on reviving the CA,” the Maoist boss said.

On the party’s policy on India, one of the most contentious issues in the plenum, Dahal made it clear that it remains unchanged. “We have not abandoned the issue of national independence; we do not raise this issue in an aggressive manner as we are in the government,” he said.

However, another Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha, said differences exist among the top leadership on the party’s India policy and “national independence.”

“We cannot have a revolution by abandoning the issue of national independence,” Shrestha said. While Shrestha prominently raised the issue of “national independence” in the plenum, Dahal and Bhattarai were silent on it. In the press conference, Dahal, Bhattarai and Shrestha said the party is united and that there are no differences among them on the party’s tactical line and ultimate strategy.

Bhattarai said Dahal is the leader of the party until a “revolution” is had. “He was our leader, he is our leader and he will remain our leader and there is not doubt about it,” Bhattarai said, praising Dahal.Ekantipur

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