“It would be good if he peacefully, voluntarily leaves the palace after the first sitting of the Constituent Assembly decides to abolish monarchy. If he does not do so, the government will treat him just like any common criminal and use the army or other force to oust him from there.”
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That was Ram Bahadur Thapa “Badal”, the chief military strategist of the Maost party during the insurgency. Badal is also considered the leader of the radical faction withing the Maoist party who was until recently trying to take the party to the street agitation rather towards the more compromising political settlement. He was speaking at an interaction organized at the Reporters Club Nepal today. He said that as far as possible the Maoist party would try to resolve the issue through peaceful means.
Badal made it clear that the Maoists were not in favor of retaining “cultural king” or any other form of monarchy, affirming that their “struggle against feudalism” was also aimed at destroying all the remnants of the institution of monarchy, according to Nepalnews. “If in case any leader of our party had given an impression that the party wants to keep some of monarchy then the party doesn’t subscribe to that view and it is certainly not the official viewpoint of the party,” he said, clearly referring to the statement his party’s No. 2 leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai that while removing monarchy the party could provide the outgoing King with “economic, social and cultural rights and benefits.”
In an interview with Bahas talk programme of Kantipur TV yesterday, Dr. Baburam Bhattarai had said, “We want to bid farewell to the King in an honorable and respectful manner. He can be given economic, social and cultural rights.” Dr. Bhattarai did not elaborate what kind of cultural rights could be given. But he hinted that the King could be provided with ‘allowances.’ He also added that the Maoist leadership was ready to hold talks with the King to facilitate the ‘graceful exit’ of monarchy.
Saying that the party’s top leadership is soon going to hold an one-to-one with the King, Badal, however, clarified that they were doing so not to express their allegiance to the king like other parties had done in the past, but only [to find ways] for his “graceful exit” from the palace. Badal also admitted that they had met with a few royalists recently, but it was done so to oust the king.
Interestingly enough, when a reporter asked whether his party would consider granting the party’s membership to the king if he is to seek it, Badal said that if he accepts democratic values and express commitment to fight against the foreign interventionist forces then he would certainly be given the party’s membership.
Regarding the army integration, Badal said that as the issue is already mentioned in the peace accord it would be finalized by the Constituent Assembly. “Our mandate is to establish peace in the country and for that integration of Nepal Army and People’s Liberation Army is crucial. So we will integrate both the armies to make a new national army,” he said. Furthermore, he said the party believes in making military training mandatory to all citizens, adding that this would also help in downsizing the army.
For the record:
Indian Ambassador Shiv Shankhar Mukherjee today held consultations with CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda on the lately developed political situation of Nepal. he duo are learnt to have discussed on coordination among the parties and India’s support in the new government led by the Maoists, during the meeting at Prachanda’s residence at Naya Bazaar in the capital at around 7 this morning. According to Kantipur, a source reported that Ambassador Mukherjee and Prachanda also discussed on the issue of King’s graceful exit for the implementation of republic declaration through the first sitting of the Constituent Assembly (CA). The duo also discussed the strategy of the Maoists, which established itself as the biggest party in the CA elections, to lead the new government, the source added.