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Nepal PM offers olive branch to India

world Updated: May 09, 2009 01:14 IST

IANS
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After blaming India for the failure to sack the army chief and accusing it of interfering in his country’s internal matters, Nepal’s caretaker Prime Minister Prachanda on Friday held out the olive branch to New Delhi, saying his government had no bias against it.

The Maoist supremo — who had also in an embarrassing videotape leaked this week given a different account of the strength of his guerrilla fighters and said “reactionary” India and the US would scuttle elections if they suspected the Maoists could win — on Friday called the Indian ambassador Rakesh Sood to his official residence for talks.

At the meeting with Sood, Prachanda said while the Nepali people were not happy with India’s perceived role in propping the army chief, Nepal had no bias against New Delhi. It wanted the same harmonious relations with both its neighbours, India and China, Prachanda’s media advisor Om Sharma said.

It was the first meeting between Prachanda and the Indian envoy since the former resigned as prime minister on Monday after failing to sack the chief of the army, Gen Rookmangud Katawal.

India had repeatedly advised the Maoists not to meddle with the army’s chain of command.

But after the hardliners in the Maoist party forced Prachanda to dismiss the general, his own coalition partners deserted him. To add to the humiliation, President Ram Baran Yadav reinstated the sacked Katawal.

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