Nepal deadlock: Indian envoy meets Prachanda
Kathmandu: As political uncertainty continued to grip Nepal, diplomatic consultations intensified ahead of formation of a new government, with the Maoist caretaker Prime Minister Prachanda meeting Indian envoy Rakesh Sood.
The meeting held at the Prime Minister's official residence assumes significance in the backdrop of Prachanda having accused India of interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal, which he later watered down.
Prachanda had accused New Delhi of supporting President Ram Baran Yadav's move to block the removal of the Army chief General Rukmangad Katawal, which India has denied.
During the meeting, sources said, the Maoist leader, whose party has the largest number of lawmakers in the Constituent Assembly is learnt to have expressed his commitment to the peace process and democratic transition.
They also discussed the current political situation in the country, according to sources close to the Prime Minister.
This was the first meeting between Sood and Prachanda after the Prime Minister's resignation and came ahead of Saturday's deadline for government formation set by Yadav.
Their meeting was followed by hectic diplomatic parleys, with the US ambassador Nancy J Powell meeting the Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala.
The Maoist leader also met the chief of the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN), Karin Landgren, and discussed the peace process. The UN is running special camps which house the surrendered Maoist cadres.
On Wednesday, the US Ambassador and envoys of seven European Union countries separately met Prime Minister Prachanda and UML leader Jhalanath Khanal and expressed their concern regarding the fate of peace process in the wake of the ongoing political crisis.
The Nepalese caretaker Prime Minister, whose party faced embarrassment over a leaked video which showed Prachanda had bloated the number of armed cadres of the Peoples Liberation Army, is currently meeting diplomats and political leaders to clarify his party's stand on the peace process.
In the video, Prachanda is shown telling his cadres that their main aim was to capture power and the signing of a peace accord was just a strategy to attain their goal.