Kathmandu, May 13:
The top leaders of the four parties Sunday failed to hold the scheduled formal joint meeting to sort out the contentious issues of the new constitution although the top leaders from three major parties and United Madhesi Democratic Front spent about four hours waiting for the crucial meeting at the office of the Army Integration Special Committee Secretariat in New Baneshwore.
When a meeting of the three parties—UCPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML—failed to reach an agreement on the contentious issues of state restructuring; the leaders left the venue without holding their joint meeting with the UMDF.
Instead, the leaders engaged in blame games during and after the failed meeting.
After the meeting, UCPN-Maoist vice chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Narayankaji Shrestha told reporters that the meeting failed to reach an agreement as the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML were not in favour of federalism.
"We have realized that the two parties are not in favour of federalism from their hearts," Shretsha said.
He said that the meeting could not reach an agreement due to dual mindset of the two parties.
"They accept federalism in compulsion but do not want to go for it," he said.
NC and UML could not agree on numbers, names and demarcations of the federal units though they were seemed to do so, he said.
"We think that they are taking pleasure from the recent ethnic tensions emerged nation widely," Shrestha said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said that the current conflict was between the people opting for federalism and those who opposed it.
The voting process would be initiated from Monday after the endorsement of questionnaire from the Constitutional Committee; he said and added that consensus would be sought even after initiating the process.
NC leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat said that the parties could not forge consensus as they stuck only on the issues of federalism.
The Maoist wanted to discuss only the issue of federalism, not other major issues of the new constitution, Mahat said.
"Identity is not meant for ethnic and single ethnic-based identity, eight federal units are appropriate as they are based on the identity and capacity," he reiterated.
He accused the Maoist of raising their war-time party agendas and added that NC would not be on the side of weakening the state by creating unnecessary federal provinces.
He said that the Maoists proposed the names, numbers and demarcations of the states in an irresponsible way.
NC wanted to allow the respective states to name the federal units, he added.
He also termed the Maoist chief’s recent remark to defy the ongoing tensions mounted on federalism as irresponsible.
CPN-UML leader KP Oli said that the main hurdle in the consensus was status quo attitude of the Maoist party.
Maoists were not interested to forge consensus and presented themselves in a rigid way, he said.
"We are in favour of 7 to 8 provinces which will be named by the concerned provincial assembly," he said.
He accused the Maoists of instigating the people to fight each other. "I also raised this issue in the meeting," he said.