A luncheon hosted by the Indian envoy to Nepal to celebrate New Year offered an opportunity to the country's warring political leaders to discuss their differences over the election of a new prime minister.
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood invited top politicians to the embassy for a lunch on Sunday where the leaders, during an informal meeting, expressed their diverse views on the current political deadlock.
The gathering took place ahead of the winter session of parliament, beginning January 9, that is expected to elect a new government.
"All the three major political parties -- Unified Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist, Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist Leninist -- may join the new government," chief of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal told PTI, adding that he is working towards 'that end'.''
He said a new government will be formed within January and all major parties will be part of the ruling coalition.
However, Nepali Congress leaders and representatives of Madhesi parties are doubtful whether the matter would be resolved soon.
Despite 16 rounds of polls, Nepalese lawmakers have failed to elect a successor to Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who resigned on June 30.
Senior leaders of the Nepali Congress including party president Sushil Koirala, former prime minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, prime ministerial candidate Ramchandra Poudyal, Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala, Energy Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, central committee member Krishna Sitaula, CPN-UML president Jhalanath Khanal, senior leader Bharat Mohan Adhikary and Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum leader Jaya Prakash Gupta were among those present on the occasion.
The Maoists were represented by former tourism minister Hisila Yami.