Kathmandu: Nepal's main opposition parties on Sunday piled pressure on caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to step down, saying his resignation is a precondition to end the present political stalemate.
Former Prime Minister and senior leader of CPN-UML Madhav Kumar Nepal has said "political consensus was not possible until Caretaker Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai stepped down."
"A way out is not possible without political consensus and resignation of Bhattarai is a precondition for consensus," he said.
He asked Premier Bhattarai to step down immediately to pave the way for consensus.
Nepal also termed the announcement of the November 22 elections of the Constituent Assembly (CA) as irrelevant.
"The CA election was announced unilaterally which displays the Maoists' greed for power," he accused.
In a separate context, he stated that formation of the federal states based on ethnicity was not acceptable to the CPN-UML.
Nepali Congress General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula also blamed the UCPN (Maoist) responsible for the present chaotic situation in the country.
On the other hand, Prime Minister's political advisor Devendra Poudel said that Prime Minister Bhattarai would not step down just because some parties demanded for it.
Addressing a press conference in western Nepal, Poudel said that the demand to change the government does not hold any significance in the present context as the present government is a constitutional one which is capable of accomplishing the set targets.
Stressing that the government would change only after the elections, Poudel said that Bhattarai is ready to resign if the parties build the basis for national consensus government.
Meanwhile, acting Chief Commissioner of the Election Commission Neelkantha Uprety said "The commission is capable of holding the Constituent Assembly elections on November 22 if the political parties forge consensus on the polls.
"If the political parties want, the CA polls can be held as scheduled," he said speaking at a function in Parbat district of western Nepal.
"EC has been making necessary preparation for the polls," he pointed out.
He said the government has not responded to EC's written request regarding removal of legal hurdles for conducting the elections.
"We have already sent a letter to the government urging it to remove the legal hurdles but the government is yet to respond," he said.
He said that the CA elections could be held in March next year if it was not possible to hold it in November in any way.
First Published: Sunday, June 24, 2012, 23:36