Krishna, Prachanda meet to improve Indo-Nepal ties

Krishna, Prachanda meet to improve Indo-Nepal ties

Kathmandu: Nursing “serious suspicions" on India’s role in Nepal’s political process, Maoist leader Prachanda has said the Indian establishment had failed to “grasp the verdict" of the historic 2008 election and he is keen to discuss his concerns with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Former premier Pushma Kamal Dahal Prachanda, who has recently carried out a series of stinging attacks on India, said the discussions with such high-level Indian leadership were essential for creation of a “positive atmosphere".

India, he claimed, had failed to “grasp the verdict" of the elections and “expectations of people" and wanted continuance of “status quo" wherein the “old political parties" would run the government.

The 56-year-old chairman of Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) contended there were sections in the Indian establishment who did “not want to understand the dynamics of change" brought about by the 2008 elections in Nepal.

“I am not saying everybody in India is against Maoists but there may be tendency in bureaucracy, or (intelligence) agencies or part of political leadership... There may be some people who don’t want to understand the dynamics of change," Prachanda said.

He said India played a positive role when the Maoists and political parties reached the 12-point understanding, as also during the Constituent Assembly elections.

Prachanda said he had tried to convey his concerns and suspicions to external affairs minister S.M. Krishna during their meeting on Saturday.

On his recent allegations that India was interfering in Nepal’s internal affairs, he said it was a result of reported comments by the Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor opposing the proposed integration of former Maoist combatants in the Nepalese Army.

He said he raised this issue with Krishna who “explained" that the comments that appeared in media were “not authentic".

The “clarification" by the external affairs minister had satisfied him “to some extent", Prachanda said but suspicions continue.

During that meeting, Krishna conveyed India’s unhappiness to Prachanda and said his “baseless propaganda" was vitiating the relations.

Insisting that his party wanted to have “good relations" with India, Prachanda said it needed a “new basis" which cannot happen till there is an understanding about the “expectations" of the people of Nepal, implying restoration of power to the Maoists.

“If we are able to convey our concerns to the Indian leadership, it will be very helpful for development of new relationship with India," he said.