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Quit palace by May 27, Maoists tell King

world Updated: May 14, 2008 00:23 IST
Anirban Roy
Anirban Roy
Hindustan Times
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Nepal's Maoist chief Prachanda on Tuesday revealed that a message has been passed on to King Gyanendra, suggesting that he leave the Narayanhiti Palace by May 27.

Talking to reporters in Ilam, after attending a meeting of the Maoist party's Limbuwan State Council, Prachanda warned that Gyanendra could face forceful eviction from the palace if he refused to quit voluntarily.

The Maoist chief's statement came less than 24 hours of the announcement of holding the first sitting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) on May 28.

Prachanda reiterated his stand that his party will not accept any form of monarchy in Nepal. "If he (the King) cooperates with the political process, he would be given the rights enjoyed by ordinary citizens," said Prachanda.

The Maoists, which emerged as the largest political party in the CA, also fired a salvo at Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala saying "he should immediately resign to give a political outlet to the confusing situation".

Senior Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai said: "Koirala's resignation would open the door for the formation of a new government in Nepal."

However, there are reports that Koirala has been bargaining with the Maoists to offer him the post of President.

Bhattarai's statement has come at a time when the Nepali Congress and the Communist party of Nepal (UML) are threatening not to join the government. Both the parties have set preconditions, like dissolution of Maoist People's Liberation Army and Young Communist League, to support the government.

Meanwhile, senior Nepali Congress leader and former prime minister Krishna Prasad Bhattarai has demanded that the King should not be removed immediately as "it would be dangerous for the Nepal's political future".