A marathon meeting of the top leaders of the three major parties and the Madhesi Front held at Hattiban Resort in sub-urban Kathmandu to find consensus on the contentious issues of the constitution ended without any conclusion Monday evening.
Leaders of the UCPN (Maoist), Nepali Congress, CPN (UML) and Madhesi Front held several rounds of bilateral and joint meetings since Sunday afternoon, but they could not arrive at an agreement.
The leaders ended the meeting with the decision to resume the negotiations from Wednesday. They stayed overnight at the resort, brainstorming over the unsettled issues including the restructuring of the state, form of governance, electoral system, judicial system and citizenship.
However, coming out of the meeting, the leaders claimed they had come closer to an agreement on the tricky issues. "We had discussion in a very positive environment," UML chairman Jhala Nath Khanal said, "After this meeting, I am confident that we will arrive at a consensus within a few days."
Likewise, Madhesi Front leader Bijaya Kumar Gachchhadar said the parties had reached "near-agreement" on the demarcation of the federal states and that they would forge final agreement very soon.
Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Maoist vice chairman Mohan Baidya and general secretary Ram Bahadur Thapa; Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala, vice president Ram Chandra Poudel, central leader Ram Saran Mahat; UML chairman Khanal, senior leader Madhav Nepal, vice chairman Bam Dev Gautam, general secretary Ishwor Pokharel were among those participating in the talks. nepalnews.com