Leaders lose temper as deposed king finds tongue

  • Shah’s remarks should not be taken lightly: Dahal
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 23, 2016-

Deposed king Gyanendra Shah’s out-of-the-blue remarks on Wednesday have prompted a flurry of comments, with even the Cabinet on Thursday making the ousted monarch’s statement an agenda for discussion.

The former king on Wednesday issued a statement, saying that national unity is under attack and warning of growing divisions between the communities from the Tarai, Hills and mountains. 

The Cabinet on Thursday “discussed” Shah’s statement, as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bimalendra Nidhi talked about reopening the case of the 2001 royal massacre in which then king Birendra and his family were eliminated. 

“If Gyanendra continues to make statements like this, questioning the current political set-up, the government should dig up the report and take action against those found guilty,” Nidhi is learnt to have said during the Cabinet meeting. 

Nepali Congress Ministers Ramesh Lekhak, Nabindra Raj Joshi and Hyridaya Ram Thani, however, pressed for working to implement the new constitution “in order to negate such rhetoric from the deposed king”. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, on the other hand, said that it was not a mere coincidence that the statement from the dethroned king came hot on the heels of his recent visits to India and China and amid remarks from some political leaders against federalism and protests by the main opposition in some parts of the country against the constitution amendment. 

“We should not take these incidents lightly,” PM Dahal is learnt to have said in the meeting.

Naya Shakti Nepal Coordinator Baburam Bhattarai who posted a series of tweets on Wednesday came up with a press statement on Thursday, denouncing the former king’s statement as “crime against the state”

“The statement is against the basic norms of Nepal’s constitution,” the Naya Shakti Nepal said its statement. 

Dahal and Bhattarai parted ways in September following the promulgation of the constitution because of “ideological differences” between them. 

But on the former monarch’s remarks, both, who waged a decade-long armed insurgency together, have shared similar views, saying the deposed king’s statement “disgraced the sacrifice made by the people”. 

The former king’s remarks also coincide with growing polarisation among parties over amendment to the constitution and federal boundaries. A constitution amendment bill, registered at the insistence of the agitating Madhes-based parties,  has become the source of political rift of late. 

Stating that social harmony among Nepali people is waning and efforts are being made to break the bonds of unity between the plains, the Hills and the mountains, Shah in his statement had also rounded on political parties, saying the people, the “supreme and permanent source of power”, were being undermined by political parties under the “unfair influence of outside forces”.

Published: 23-12-2016 08:41

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