Saran starts hectic parleys to build consensus govt in Nepal
Last Updated: Thursday, August 05, 2010, 14:00
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.


First Published: Thursday, August 05, 2010, 14:00

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