Warring Nepalese politicians meet at Indian envoy`s lunch

The politicians expressed their views on the current political deadlock.

Kathmandu: A luncheon hosted by Indian envoy here to celebrate New Year offered an opportunity to Nepal`s warring political leaders to discuss their differences over election of a new prime minister.

Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood invited top politicians to the embassy for a lunch yesterday, where leaders during the informal meeting expressed their diverse views on the current political deadlock.

The gathering took place ahead of the winter session of Parliament, beginning January 09, that is expected to elect a new government.

"All the three major political parties -- Unified CPN Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML -- may join the new government," chief of Communist Party of Nepal-UML Jhalanath Khanal said, adding that he is working towards "that end".

He said a new government will be formed within January and all major parties will be part of the ruling coalition.

However, Nepali Congress leaders and representatives of Madhesi parties expressed slim hope that the matter would be resolved soon.

Despite 16 rounds of polls, Nepalese lawmakers have failed to elect a successor to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who resigned on June 30.

Senior leaders of Nepali Congress including party president Sushil Koirala, former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, prime ministerial candidate Ramchandra Poudyal, Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala, Energy Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, central committee member Krishna Sitaula, CPN-UML president Jhalanath Khanal, senior leader Bharat Mohan Adhikary, Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum leader Jaya Prakash Gupta were among those present on the occasion.

The Maoists were represented by former tourism minister Hisila Yami in the gathering which also saw eminent personalities of business and media.