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Nepal: King denies exile reports

Source: PTI
April 21, 2008 16:11 IST
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Nepal's embattled King Gyanendra has no plans to seek exile in India following the surprise victory of Maoists .The reports, which appeared in national and international media saying the King has sought refuge in India, were totally "false and fabricated", the Narayanhiti Royal Palace said in a statement on Sunday .The King has no immediate plan either to vacate the Narayanhiti Palace or to leave the country to take refuge in India, a palace official said. "It will be premature to talk about the King leaving the palace and going to India in exile. Let the legal procedure take its course," the official added.

Maoist chief Prachanda on Sunday met Indian Ambassador to Nepal Shiv Shanker Mukherjee apparently to discuss a "graceful exit" for King Gyanendra after the party won the landmark Constituent Assembly election. Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist's third-in-rank leader Ram Bahadur Thapa 'Badal' has said that the King should  leave the palace gracefully after the first meeting of the Constituent Assembly implements the decision on a republic."If the King does not abide by the people's mandate the government will forcefully vacate the palace," Badal warned.

There are also reports doing rounds that the King's private residence "Nirmal Niwas" located at Maharajgunj, two kms north from the palace, being cleaned up as the monarch may move in there.

Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai has said that the King might be able to enjoy his "economic and cultural rights" even if he is dethroned. However, Bhattarai did not give details. The Seven Party Alliance including the Maoists have agreed to formally abolish the monarchy through voting during the first meeting of the 601-member elected assembly. The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly will be convened three weeks after the results of all the seats are out.

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