Kathmandu: After an open split in the Maoist ranks, differences also seem to have surfaced between party supremo Prachanda and Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai over the latter`s comments that he would hand over power only to an elected government.
UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda, who is in favour of forging consensus with political parties, expressed reservation over the Prime Minister`s remarks about not quitting the top post, and said they were made without consultations with the party.
Soon after his return to Kathmandu from a three-day visit to Brazil to attend a UN summit, Prime Minister Bhattarai had said that "he would not step down from the post coming under the pressure from the opposition parties" and will "only hand over power to the next elected government".
The Prime Minister`s remarks had sparked criticism from the opposition that has already launched an agitation seeking his ouster. The Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and other fringe parties, have termed the announcement of fresh elections in November as "undemocratic and unconstitutional".
To a prime minister already under attack, disapproving comments by his own party boss come as another setback.
"Prachanda expressed dissatisfaction over the Prime Minister`s remarks and he has told reporters that he would hold discussion with the Prime Minister regarding the issue," the National News Agency RSS said.
Prachanda, who was at a hospital to inquire about the health of Nepali Congress vice-president Ramchandra Poudyal, who was admitted there, told reporters that "the remarks of the Prime Minister were not made in consultation with either the party or himself".
Party chief Prachanda is in favour of forging national consensus to resolve the present crisis, Prachanda`s press advisor Samir Dahal said