Prime Minister and acting head of state Girija Prasad Koirala quizzes the palace officials as to why Gyanendra, the suspended king, went to observe Kumari, the living Goddess, without government permission.
As the country is increasingly unsure about the fate of elections that are scheduled for 22 November because of the Maoist behavior, suspended king and former autocrat Gyanendra yesterday evening went to observe Kumari, the living Goddess, like a thief, without government permission. With the mandate of the April Revolution of 2006, the government has been curtailing the political and cultural rights and role of the king. The prime minister, in capacity as the acting head of state, has been performing the duties of the head of the state.
[Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has ordered chief of the Nepali Army (NA) Rookmangud Katawal to pull out half of the NA personnel at Narayanhiti royal palace. detail here]
Following PM Koirala’s return after receiving blessings from Kumari in the capacity of head of state yesterday, the last day of Indra Jatra festival, King Gyanendra walked into the crowd at Basantapur and received tika from Shree Kumari, Shree Ganesh and Shree Bhairav. Gyanendra had reached Kumari Ghar at around 9:30 last night.
Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today quizzed the palace officials as to why King Gyanendra went to observe Kumari, the living Goddess, without government permission. According to media reports, PM Koirala rang palace principal secretary Pashupati Bhakta Maharjan this morning and asked about yesterday’s incident. PM Koirala has discussed the issue with Chief of the Army Staff Rukmangat Katuwal. It was reported that soldiers in plainclothes were mobilized to provide security to the suspended monarch. A spokesman of Nepali Army expressed his ignorance about such mobilization.
PM Koirala talked about the details during his meeting with former district presidents of the Nepali Congress who are dissatisfied over the Congress unification. “If the king is trying to challenge by walking into Kumari Ghar without government permission then I will also do the same (challenge),” Former Nepali Congress Sankhuwasabha district president Tara Man Gurung quoted PM Koirala as saying.
This visit has been interpreted by many as Gyanendra’s attempt to play games in muddy water while the country is trying to institutionalize the democratic achievements by exploiting the confusing situation created by the Maoists anti-election stand and their withdrawal from the government recently. Some also feel that the Maoists are deliberately trying to provide playing field to Gyanendra by walking away from elections.