Congress not in favour of monarchy in Nepal: Digvijay Singh

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Kathmandu, Feb 13 (UNI) Leader of the Indian National Congress delegation visiting Nepal Digvijay Singh today said his party was not a supporter of monarchy.

''The Congress was never in favour of monarchy,'' Kantipur quoted Mr Singh as saying after he emerged from a meeting with senior Nepali Congress leaders at the party office.

This is the first time that the Congress has clearly stated its policy on Nepal's monarchy, which has been suspended and parliament has declared that the country would be a republic after the Constituent Assembly elections on April 10.

He pointed out the need of Nepali Congress' role to bring disgruntled groups together to hold the Constituent Assembly elections successfully.

''We are very close to achieving the demand for (a new) constitution from BP (Koirala) babu's time,'' Singh said adding that everyone should try to resolve differences if any.

The visiting delegation also held political consultations with other major parties. During its meeting with CPN-UML leaders, the Congress team said, ''India would not interfere in the internal matters of Nepal and accept any verdict of Nepali people on the monarchy.'' ''Terai is an integral part of Nepal and is Nepal's internal matter. India will not interfere in any of its internal matters,'' UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal, who was also present in the meeting, quoted the Indian leaders as saying on behalf of the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi, and other senior leaders.

The delegation also called on CPN-Maoist Chairman Prachanda and Terai-Madhes Democratic Party chief Mahantha Thakur and other Madhesi leaders. The delegation also met former Prime Minister and senior Nepali Congress leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and Rastriya Prajatantra Party Chairman Pashupati Sumsher Rana.

The team is also scheduled to call on Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala before their departure tomorrow.

The team of Mr Digvijay Singh, joint secretary of Congress foreign department Dr Ranbir Thakur, Congress press department chief Veerappa Moily, Dr Shakil Ahmed and Jiten Prasad arrived in Kathmandu for a three-day visit at the invitation of Prime Minsiter Koirala.

UNI XC AM MSJ RAI2302

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