Saran starts hectic parleys to build consensus govt in Nepal

PM Manmohan Singh`s special envoy Shyam Saran started hectic parleys with Nepalese leaders to help form a consensus government amidst deepening political crisis.

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh`s
special envoy Shyam Saran on Thursday started hectic parleys with
Nepalese leaders to help form a consensus government amidst
deepening political crisis here.

Seasoned diplomat and former foreign secretary Saran,
who arrived here yesterday, met President Ram Baran Yadav,
Maoist chairman Prachanda and Nepali Congress acting president
Shushil Koirala, the sources said.

"I am here as the special envoy of our prime minister
to forge consensus for peace and the constitution," Saran, a
former Indian ambassador to Nepal, said on his arrival.

Saran`s arrival here ahead of the fourth round of
voting tomorrow to elect a new Prime Minister in Nepal`s
Parliament, which has so far failed to elect a leader for the
top post, is regarded here as meaningful.

Saran paid courtesy call on President Yadav at
Rastrapati Bhawan yesterday, according to sources at the
President`s office.

He also met Unified CPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda and
Nepali Congress leader Shushil Koirala, party sources said.

Saran has said that he will have extensive round of
meetings with all the political leaders in Nepal to see if
consensus can be build among them to resolve the crisis.

"We have great interest, as a neighbouring country, in
the political stability of Nepal and in the economic
prosperity of Nepal," Saran said.

"We take positively the interest shown by India in our
peace process and constitution making process during the
meetings Saran held with Nepalese leaders," Nepali Congress
spokesman Arjun Narsingh K C said.

"We should wait and see what will be the outcome of
the visit," he added.

However, Maoist vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha
said that "Sharan has said that his visit was aimed at
strengthening Nepal-India relations and not linked to
formation and dissolution of government in Nepal."

Saran`s efforts will be concentrated on building
political consensus among the parties, said Nepali Congress
leader Amresh Kumar Singh, who maintains close contact with
New Delhi.

"He (Saran) is here for the formation of a consensus
government and will try to hammer out an agreement among the
parties," Singh was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.

"India is likely to extend its support to whoever
emerges the frontrunner as consensus candidate for Prime
Minister," he added.

India is considered an influential player in Nepal,
which also shares its border with another Asian giant China.