UML held its meeting of National Representative Council in Kathmandu from 4 to 6 March, 2012. In the opening ceremony held in the Khula Manch in Kathmandu, UML senior leaders accused UCPN (M) of being the main obstacle against the peace process and constitution-drafting. They stated that they would now take the leadership in the peace process and constitution-drafting and also announced the end of internal conflict in the party. They also demanded the resignation of prime minister Baburam Bhattarai accusing him of being a failure in all aspects.
The meeting of UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, and UML had given its top leaders the responsibility to bring a common proposal on the peace process and constitution-drafting and to find consensus on them through discussion, but at the end there was no agreement between the leaders of the three parties. In the meeting held at the residence of Congress president Sushil Koirala at Maharajgunj, the top leaders of UCPN (M), Congress, and UML presented their verbal proposals. UCPN (M) chairperson proposed to vacate the cantonments three weeks after the peace process moves forward. The leaders agreed to bring a written common proposal in the next meeting after discussing them in their respective parties.
UCPN (M), Nepali Congress, and CPN (UML) could not agree on whether peace and constitution-drafting process should proceed together or the peace process should be concluded first. Congress and UML insisted that the peace process should be concluded first, while UCPN (M) proposed that the peace and constitution-drafting process should be taken forward together. The dispute in the peace and constitution-drafting process shadowed the discussion being held on the form of government in the dispute resolution sub-committee of the Constitutional Committee, and its meeting was adjourned.
When there has been no agreement on the form of government, state restructuring and other issues, President Ram Baran Yadav met UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala, and UML chairperson Jhala Nath Khanal at his residence Shital Niwas. In the meeting, the President asked the leaders to conclude the outstanding issues within March 13, 2012. He urged the leaders to give special emphasis on the peace process.
After persistent pressure from the main opposition parties Nepali Congress and UML, the government backed down on its decision to legalise conflict-era land transactions carried out by the Maoist people’s government. The meeting of the Council of Ministers on February 9 reversed the decision of January 12, 2011 by ‘the decision will not stand and not be implemented’.
The State Restructuring Commission (SRC) could not come up with a consensus report. In the absence of agreement on disputed issues, the members divided into majority and minority groups. The Coordinator Madan Pariyar, Stella Tamang, Malla K Sundar, Bhogendra Jha, Krishna Hachhethu, and Surendra Mahato were in one camp and Ramesh Dhungel, Sabitri Gurung, and Sarbaraj Khadka were in the other camp. The majority report submitted to prime minister Baburam Bhattarai included the dissentions by the minority group, but minority group submitted a separate report to the prime minister.
Prime minister Baburam Bhattarai made attempts to hold dialogue with Congress and UML who had not sat down for talks after the government did not withdraw the decision of the Council of Ministers. When there was no possibility of three-party talks, prime minister Bhattarai, UCPN (M) chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Congress vice-president Ram Chandra Paudel, and UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal met on the sidelines of the meeting of the Constitutional Committee at Singha Durbar. In the meeting, Prime Minister Bhattarai expressed commitment not to implement the government decision to legalise the land transactions carried out by the Maoist people’s government during the conflict. He asked them to sit for talks to take the peace and constitution-drafting process forward. Congress leader Paudel stated the condition for talks would be the withdrawal of the government decision.