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Former king in line of Nepal PM's fire

world Updated: Mar 04, 2012 23:19 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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With less than three months remaining to complete peace and constitution drafting, Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has accused former king Gyanendra Shah of trying to scuttle both processes.

Talking to a group of local journalists at his official residence, Bhattarai said that the former monarch was conspiring to upset peace and statute drafting from behind a dark room.

"Reactionary forces are working for disrupting the peace and constitution (processes) and the former king is one of the characters," The Himalayan Times quoted the PM on Sunday.

Bhattarai said since the masses have assigned Shah the role of an ordinary citizen, he should accept that verdict and refrain from making public statements on the country's affairs.

"The former king seems to be very active at a time when the peace process is in its last phase. This will not be acceptable," the Republica quoted Bhattarai.

The PM's outburst follows Shah's comments at a press meet in Biratnagar recently where he had warned that nationalism, democracy and peoples' security were under threat.

"There will be no guarantee of peace and stability if these issues are not addressed. We will plunge into chaos and our nationalism will be in danger," the former king was quoted as saying.

Nearly four years after his removal, Shah continues to remain an important figure in Nepal. Though he mostly restricts himself to religious gatherings, huge crowds gather to get his glimpse.

His trips to India where he spent several weeks last month (to attend a family wedding) always make news with speculations about his meetings with political bigwigs in New Delhi.

Shah's trip to Sunsari district to inaugurate a religious event on Thursday (where he made the comments) was his first public appearance after remaining on the sidelines for months.

Despite extending the tenure of Constituent Assembly four times, Nepali lawmakers haven't been able to complete peace and statute drafting. The final deadline expires on May 28.

With frustration among masses growing, pro-monarchy elements are seeking re-promulgation of the 1990 constitution that had provision of constitutional monarchy.