Will not tolerate 'any kind of interference', says Prachanda
Maoist supremo Prachanda said his party will not tolerate 'any kind of interference' into internal affairs of Nepal from any part of the world as he accused India of 'breaking the politics of consensus' in the country. Listen to podcastworld Updated: May 06, 2009 20:52 IST
Maoist supremo Prachanda on Wednesday said his party will not tolerate 'any kind of interference' into internal affairs of Nepal from 'any part of the world'as he accused India of 'breaking the politics of consensus' in the country.
Addressing his first press conference after resigning as premier, he also dubbed a videotape purportedly showing him as taking pride over making a false claim about the strength of Maoist combatants as a 'conspiracy' against the peace process.
Claiming that the Maoists will return to power, he said "After some time... An atmosphere of trust will be created and we will in a position to lead the new government."
Prachanda denied that he made any remarks against India while announcing his resignation. "I have not blamed either India, China or USA in my speech by calling (their) names, what I have done is only opposed foreign intervention."
However, he said that "people here feel India's role was not positive" in the army chief issue.
India 'denied support'to his government to uphold 'civilian supremacy' and its 'lack of support' for institutionalising democratic norms has created suspicion, he said and blamed New Delhi for "breaking politics of consensus" after the constituent assembly elections.
"We will never tolerate any kind of interference into internal affairs of Nepal from any part of the world," Prachanda said.
While announcing his resignation in a televised address to the nation on Monday, Prachanda had said, "I will quit the government rather than remain in power by bowing down to the foreign elements and reactionary forces."
His party is ready to maintain 'cordial relations' with neighbouring countries but will "not accept any intervention," he had said in remarks seen as a veiled attack on India.
Prachanda on Wednesday also asked President Ram Baran Yadav to withdraw his move reinstate the sacked army chief, saying that his party will not let the process of formation of new government begin unless he does so.
On the issue of the videotape, the Maoist leader said it is a part of a "conspiracy hatched by reactionary forces" to "defame" his party and "obstruct" the peace process.
In the one-and-a-half year-old video tape first broadcast by Image Channel, Prachanda was seen telling his cadres in a closed-door meeting that his party's actual military strength was 7,000 and not 35,000 as claimed.
In the tape recorded two months before the constituent assembly elections last year, he told the cadres that Maoist army has increased from 7,000 to 20,000 after verification.
"The statement I made in the videotape one and a half years ago has become irrelevant and we are fully committed to moving the peace process ahead," Prachanda said.
He claimed that his party has one lakh soldiers, if all central, regional and militia units are combined.
Meanwhile, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have both raised serious concern over the videotape.
"Nepalese people are stunned by the statement made by Prachanda in the tape," Prakash Mahat, central member of Nepali Congress, said at a press meet.
"Prachanda's statements made in favour of democracy, human rights and civilian supremacy are totally false and illusive which is evident from the tape," he said.
The Maoists' aim was to capture state power by taking hold of the national army and Prachanda's move to sack army chief was strategic, Mahat said.
He also called Nepalese people to remain alert against the Maoists' "totalitarian attitude" and asked his party cadres to be ready to counter the Maoists' move to impose a "totalitarian rule".
CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal said that the remarks made by Prachanda were "serious and objectionable". He, however, said that the circumstances under which he made these comments must be understood.
First Published: May 06, 2009 19:40 IST