Solidarity committee to re-look at India-Nepal friendship treaty

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New Delhi, Jun 12 (UNI) A day after Nepal's dethroned king Gyanendra endorsed the abolition of 240-year-old monarchy, a broad-based Solidarity Committee today made a strong case to re-look at the historic India-Nepal friendship treaty in the changed political environment.

''Even the Indian government is not opposed to the idea as a lot of new developments have taken place since the signing of the Treaty between the two governments,'' Committee Convenor Sitaram Yechury told newspersons, adding that they foresee more friendly and cordial relations between India and Nepal.

Mr Yechury said there was no harm in having a fresh look at the treaty and the move would only boost the 'unique and historic' friendly relations of the two neighbouring countries.

The Committee for Solidarity with Nepal, which was set up on February 4, 2004 to strengthen the movement for restoration of democracy in the neighbouring country, is headed by veteran marxist Harkishan Singh Surjeet with prominent Communists A B Bardhan, Gurudas Dasgupta,Congress leader Anand Sharma, socialists Surendra Mohan and Vijay Pratap among the members.

Briefing after the two-hour meeting of the Committee, held at CPI(M) headquarters A K Gopalan Bhawan, Mr Yechury said the Committee's viewpoint was vindicated and all apprehensions and doubts were cleared when the Maoists participated in the mainstreem politics, gave up their arms and participated in the Constituent Assembly polls and King Gyanendra endorsed the end of monarchy.

Other prominent Committee members, D P Tripathi of NCP and D Raja of CPI said the restoration of democracy was a positive development and that India, in the emerging political scenario, should have an open mind.

While hailing the declaration of the democratic Republic of Nepal, they hoped that now peace and normalcy would be maintained for the prosperity and progress of Nepal.

Committee General Secretary D P Tripathi (NCP) said, ''We hope that very soon there will be an elected government in Nepal as they are very mature people. This will go a long way in strengthening democracy not only there but in the entire South Asia.'' On King Gyanendra's role, Mr Tripathi said he will enjoy the right to play a political role as a citizen, ''Even he enjoys the right to form a political party as enjoyed by any other citizen.'' Expressing committment to respect the people's verdict through the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly (CA) on May 28, Nepal's dethroned king yesterday said he did not plan to leave the country and would rather contribute towards the greater good and peace of the land.

To a specific query as to why representatives of the BJP and the Shiv Sena had not been made the Committee members, Mr Yechury said the Committee is essentially an all party broad platform, but cannot accommodate the fascist and communal forces which have bemoaned the death of the monarchy and he expressed the optimism and confidence that the political process to draft the Republic Constitution will be speeded up.

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