Nepal's PM refuses to receive 'tika' on Hindu festival Dashain

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Kathmandu, Oct 10 (UNI) Nepal's Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' refused to receive 'tika' in the Hindu majority Himalayan nation from his father yesterday, saying he is a Communist and naturally a secularist.

Mr Dahal relinquished the 'Dashain Tika' but received blessings yesterday from his father Mukti Ram Dahal when people of all walks of life, including President Ram Baran Yadav and ousted king Gyanendra, were busy in celebrating the greatest Hindu festival.

''The former guerrilla Prime Minister, who launched the civil war for a decade, reportedly said he relinquished the 'tika' as a Communist, who is secularist ideologically,'' Kantipur said here today.

His relatives, supporters and well-wishers went to the Prime Minister's Official Residence at Baluwatar on the occasion of Dashain, which is known as Dussehra in India, to extend well wishes to him.

A large number of people also went to receive 'tika' from Dr Yadav at his residence in Dhapasi. Party leaders and workers and senior officials received 'tika' from former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala at his residence in Maharajgunj.

The ousted king Gyanendra also celebrated the festival at the residence of his son in Normal Niwas, Maharajgunj, where some former royals, including his relatives and close friends and some of the former ministers, received 'tika' from him.

Though Nepal was declared a secular state, over two-third majority of its people are Hindus. The second position is taken by Buddhists and Hinduism and Buddhism have flourished side by side.

UNI XC SKB AS1853

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