Kathmandu: Nepal's three major political parties are closer to reach an agreement on federal structure, one of the key issues hampering the drafting of the new constitution, a senior minister said on Sunday.
The three parties -- Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and UCPN-Maoist -- held positive talks at a meeting held at the Prime Minister's residence in Baluwatar in the capital to narrow down the differences, Minister for Law and Justice Narahari Acharya said.
They "have come closer to a deal on the most contentious issue of federal structure," he said.
"The parties have agreed on the name and number of the federal units and will resolve other issues through a serious of dialogue to be held on Monday," the minister said.
Forms of governance, electoral system, federal structure and judicial system are the four major contentious issues of the constitution drafting.
Meanwhile, the 30-party opposition alliance led by the UCPN (Maoist) staged nationwide protest today, demanding promulgation of the new constitution through political consensus.
Addressing the rally in Birgunj, in southern Nepal, Chairman of Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal Upendra Yadav said that the opposition parties would not accept the constitution prepared by Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subas Nembang and endorsed through majority votes.
"The ruling parties are hatching a conspiracy to handover all the rights of the CA to chairman Nembang. We will, by no means, accept the draft presented by him and the government," he said.
Yadav further warned that the public would burn the constitution promulgated without forging consensus among parties.
The alliance said it would intensify agitation if the constitution is endorsed through majority votes rather than through forging consensus.
The deadline to draft the new constitution set by political parties expires on January 22.