King Gyanendra’s asylum to India a “hypothetical issue”: Amid speculation that Nepal King Gyanendra could seek political asylum in India, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee was evasive on the issue, describing it as hypothetical, reports Press Trust of India. “I do not know whether anybody has sought any asylum. It is a hypothetical question,” Mukherjee said when asked by a reporter about the speculation that the monarch could take shelter in India as Maoists have emerged victorious in Nepal Constituent Assembly polls. Reports have suggested that Gyanendra could come to India using his family connections in India, says The Hindu.
BJP does U-turn: Breaking its silence on the recent developments in Nepal, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday (18 April) hoped that the new “secular” Nepal “will not be anti-Hindu and anti-India”, reports The Hindu. At an expanded meeting of the party’s central office-bearers, a political resolution, covering inflation, the Nepal developments and the Tibetan protests, was adopted. The resolution said: “Till recently, Nepal was a Hindu nation and because it was a Hindu nation, it dealt equitably with its citizens belonging to other faiths. Now, Nepal is being declared a secular State. We hope that under the new dispensation, Nepal will not become anti-Hindu and anti-India.”
At the same time, the party “welcomed” the change from monarchy to democracy. The BJP said it hoped Nepal’s new democracy would mean true freedom where people would be able to express different points of view, and that “it will not be a copy of the democratic model seen in North Korea or under the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia.” The BJP’s view was that India should keep a watch on the developments in Nepal; it should make renewed efforts to strengthen bilateral ties; and take constructive and timely steps.
“Nepal situation not misread”: Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee claimed on Friday (18 April) that India had not misread the situation in Nepal, where the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) has emerged victorious in the recent elections to the Constituent Assembly. “No question of misreading,” Mr. Mukherjee said, according to The Hindu, pointing out that India had contributed to the Maoists giving up arms and joining the political mainstream. “We requested the Maoists to join the multi-party democratic political system in Nepal and join the mainstream by giving up violence. They have done so,” he said at a seminar in New Delhi.