India asks Nepal to forge political consensus before polls

Last Updated: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 21:30

Kathmandu: India on Tuesday asked Nepal government and warring political parties to reach a consensus on the proposed Constituent Assembly polls in November as there is no alternative to elections in a democracy.

Before wrapping up his one day-visit, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said, "There is determination among all political parties in Nepal that election must be held in time and any difficulties that comes on the way must be removed through consensus."

He asked the government and the major parties here to make maximum efforts to bring poll-opposing parties on board the electoral process.

"We are happy to provide any assistance we have been asked on the basis of need of the people and the consensus among the political parties," Khurshid said.

"Everyone is speaking positive language to remain committed towards holding the Constituent Assembly elections and there is no alternative to elections in democracy," Khurshid said after talks with top Nepalese leaders here.

"India remains strongly committed to the success of Nepal`s peace process and institutionalisation of democracy in Nepal in a constitutional and multiparty framework," he said.

The Federal Democratic Alliance (FDA), led by the break-away faction of the Maoist party, have been pressing for replacement of the incumbent election government led by chief justice Khil Raj Regmi with a new government under political leadership and renegotiate the election schedule.

Khurshid met President Ram Bararn Yadav, Regmi, Foreign Minister Madhav Ghimire, Maoist chief Prachanda, and former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai among others.

Prachanda, who had left for Singapore on Sunday for medical check-up arrived here today, cutting short his visit to meet Khurshid.

Khurshid also discussed issues relating to strengthening relations between the Indian National Congress and Nepali Congress, which have close ties since the independence of India, according to party general secretary Prakash Man Singh.

"India was totally committed to supporting the forthcoming election and was ready to provide all kinds of assistance for the purpose for consolidating democracy," Singh said after his meeting with Khurshid.

Regulating the open borders between Nepal and India and harnessing water resources for the benefit of both the countries also figured during the talks, Singh said.


First Published: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - 21:30

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