No power sharing deal in Nepal so far; Maoists strike continues

Nepal`s three largest parties failed to reach a consensus to resolve the political crisis.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s three largest parties failed to reach a consensus to resolve the political crisis that has spilled on to the streets, but agreed to resume talks on a power-sharing deal on Monday, even as the Maoists` general strike paralysed the capital for a second day.

The Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML failed to arrive at a power sharing agreement last evening, with both the Maoists and the ruling coalition sticking to their stands.

While the Maoists asked the Prime Minister to step down for paving a way for negotiations, the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have asked the Maoists to withdraw their strike first to reach an agreement.

However, the top leaders of the major parties -- both the ruling and opposition -- have agreed to resume the talks this evening to hammer out a solution.

The Maoists, meanwhile, continued their indefinite general strike for the second day today to press for their demand for the formation of a Maoist-led government.

All schools and colleges were closed, shops and factories were shut down and transport services halted for the second consecutive day causing inconveniences to the general public.

Last evening`s all party meeting might have inconclusive, but the parties did sort out six agenda for further discussion.

They include reviewing progress made in implementation of past agreements, creating an environment of trust among political parties, addressing the president`s move to reinstate Army chief and civilian supremacy, taking the peace process to a logical end, resolving differences seen in Constitution drafting and power-sharing deal among the parties, Nepali Congress sources said.

The Maoist cadres, who launched an indefinite strike yesterday, continued to protest on the streets today.

Tens of thousands of Maoist supporters from all over the country are camping in the capital, which is the centre of the agitation.

Holding the party`s flags, banners and carrying sticks, the cadres gathered at various places in the capital shouting anti-government slogans.

With the supply routes affected due to the strike, prices of essentials have gone up in the capital.

Vegetable prices have almost doubled over the past one week due to short supply. Vegetables and fruits have not entered Kathmandu since Thursday. India is the major supplier of fruits and vegetables to Kathmandu`s markets.