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Nepal's Maoist chief urges war on India

Amidst the Indian government's growing concern about the crisis in Nepal, its Maoist supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has identified India as the arch enemy and urged the party to brace for a war with the southern neighbour.

world Updated: Nov 24, 2010 15:37 IST

Amidst the Indian government's growing concern about the crisis in Nepal and a renewed war on its own Maoist guerrillas, Nepal's Maoist supremo Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has identified India as the arch enemy and urged the party to brace for a war with the southern neighbour, reports said on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old former prime minister, who blames New Delhi for the fall of his short-lived government last year and his failure to win the subsequent prime ministerial election, has begun predicting military intervention in Nepal by India and has advocated a "people's revolt" at a key meet of the party that will formulate the former guerrillas' future strategy.

The sixth Maoist plenum, an extravaganza that kicked off on Sunday in Palungtar, a remote village in western Gorkha district where the party had begun its first military training before launching its "People's War" in 1996, has now become the battleground between Prachanda and his two deputies, who have attacked him for financial irregularities and other lapses.

Prachanda, on Tuesday, returned the fire opened by his deputies, saying the collective leadership of the party was responsible for the errors, and not he alone.

His counter-attack came after former Maoist finance minister Baburam Bhattarai, who was demoted in 2005 for his ego clashes with Prachanda, accused the party supremo of fostering a personality cult like Stalin and questioned his punishment for advocating laying down arms, a suggestion that was finally followed by the party in 2006 when it signed a peace pact.

Prachanda's attack on India is believed to be coloured by the suspicion that Bhattarai, a moderate who advocates continuing with peace talks instead of launching a fresh revolt, is being backed by the Indian establishment, an accusation Bhattarai denies.

Media reports on Wednesday said that Prachanda, who presented his political document at the conclave Tuesday, had said India was supporting feudal forces in Nepal to prevent the Maoists from coming to power and having a decisive voice in the new constitution though they had emerged as the largest party after the elections in 2008.

"Compradors, feudal forces and Indian expansionism are our arch enemies," a local daily reported him as saying. "Now we have to ready for a national war against India and begin a people's revolt and we need to formulate strategie