Maoists give ultimatum to Nepal king

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Kathmandu, Apr 21: CPN-Maoist leader Ram Bahadur Thapa 'Badal' has advised the king to voluntarily leave the palace and become an honourable citizen, warning that if he doesn't do so then the government would even resort to using force to oust him from there.

''It would be good if he peacefully, voluntarily leaves the palace after the first sitting of the Constituent Assembly decides to abolish monarchy,'' a local media Nepalnews quoted Thapa as saying. ''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,'' Mr Badal said while speaking at an interaction organised at the Reporters Club Nepal Sunday. He said that as far as possible the party would try to resolve the issue through peaceful means.

Mr Badal, who was the party's chief military strategist during the time the party's decade long war with the state, made it clear that the Maoists were not in favour 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.

''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 Number 2 leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai that while removing monarchy the party could provide the outgoing King with ''economic, social and cultural rights and benefits.'' 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.

''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.

He said the party believes in making military training mandatory to all citizens, adding that this would also help in downsizing the army.

All the major political parties in Nepal had agreed to abolish monarchy by the first meeting of the CA to be convened within a few days time. The interim parliament has endorsed the proposal to declare Nepal federal democratic republic that will be implemented by the CA.

Maoists emerged as the largest party in the recently held CA polls.

UNI

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