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Talk over tea

Monday, October 31st, 2011
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PIC: BIKRAM RAI

PIC: BIKRAM RAI

The Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal stood up cheerfully for almost one and half hour, welcoming guests to the tea reception hosted by his party at Bhrikuti Mandap, Kathmandu, on Monday. Top leaders of major political parties, CA members, government heads including the dissenters of his party attended the reception and exchanged greetings on occasion of Dasain, Tihar, Nepal Sambat 1132 and Chhat .

The cadres loyal to the party establishment were in stand-by to avoid untoward situation that hardliners might create, as told by a cadre at the venue. It was speculated that arrival of Ram Bahadur Thapa ‘Badal’, who called Dahal a RAW agent, could create problem at the program. However, Badal was absent and Mohan Baidhya ‘Kiran’, who leads the faction of party’s hardliners, was seen greeting guests along with the chairman. NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and Oli Nepal faction leaders were visibly absent in the reception.

Dahal reiterated that he would not let the party split at any cost. “I am ready to sacrifice anything,” he said. “We will complete the peace and constitution writing process.”

NC president Sushil Koiral and UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal also expressed hope that they would soon come up with an agreeable deal to resolve political differences.

The three parties are holding a meeting on Tuesday which is expected to decide the number of PLA to be integrated, rehabilitation package for those who opt out of integration and other issues of peace process and constitutional issues. The meeting of the big three parties on Monday morning had ended inconclusively.

The government decision to hand over the weapons of PLA to the state had created an environment conducive for dialogue with opposition parties. Maoist hardliners have been strongly opposing  the decision since a month.

The NC and the UML have agreed to stand firm on their stance regarding the number of combatants to be integrated and rehabilitation package. The political parties have agreed to discuss peace process, constitutional issues and power sharing in a package deal.

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