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India welcomes Nepal King's announcement

Source: PTI
Last updated on: April 21, 2006 23:23 IST
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India Friday welcomed Nepal's King Gyanendra's intention to transfer executive power to a government constituted by the seven-party alliance.

This action "should now pave the way for restoration of political stability and economic recovery of the country," external affairs ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters in New Delhi. 

"India welcomes his (Gyanendra's) intention to transfer all executive power of the state to a government constituted by the alliance of the seven political parties, which have been in the forefront of the movement by the people of Nepal for the restoration of multi-party democracy and their democractic freedoms," Sarna said.

The spokesman noted that the King, through the action, had reaffirmed his commitment to multi-party democracy and constitutional monarchy. 

The Indian reaction came soon after Gyanendra, buckling under mass protests, announced that he will hand over political power he had assumed 14 months ago to the people and asked the seven-party alliance to name a new prime minister.

Significantly, the monarch's reaction came a day after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Special Envoy Karan Singh held talks with Gyanendra in Kathmandu.

Commending people of Nepal for keeping faith in democracy and freedom, New Delhi said they had "undergone acute suffering and economic hardship during the last several months" and hoped that their aspirations can now be addressed by enabling them to enjoy their rights through a democratic electoral exercise free from the threat of violence.

India has stood by the people of Nepal in their hour of need and now stands ready to render all possible assistance to enable Nepal to achieve political stability and economic recovery at the earliest possible date, the MEA spokesman said.

Menawhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party also welcomed King Gyanendra's announcement regarding handing over executive power to the people of Nepal, saying it hoped the move would end the crisis there.

Senior BJP leader Jaswant Singh, who discussed the Nepal situation with Dr Singh earlier in the day, said he would anyhow travel to Kathmandu on Monday as planned.

"I welcome this development and it should result in immediate end to all violence. It is my hope that the past agitation will now be abandoned and Nepal will rapidly return to normalcy, democracy, development, peace and accord. That is the goodwill for the people of Nepal, with which I will travel to the fraternal neighbour on Monday," he said in a statement.

 The former external affairs minister claimed he knew beforehand that the King would announce power handover. "I had advance information that His Majesty was scheduled to make such an announcement at his convenience," he said.

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