Deposed Nepal king heads for India again

March 10th, 2011 - 4:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, March 10 (IANS) Nepal’s deposed king Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah is leaving for India Thursday to attend a family wedding, making it the second visit to the neighbouring country in four months.

During the trip, which may last between a week to 12 days, the last king of Nepal will visit Varanasi, Mumbai, Khajuraho and New Delhi, reports said.

Accompanied by the former queen, Komal Bikram Shah, Gyanendra will attend a wedding in Khajuraho and also offer ritual worship at various Hindu holy shrines in India.

During his stay in the Indian capital, he is also expected to meet Indian politicians though the visit was described as a personal one.

He had visited India in November 2010 to attend the wedding of the son of the former king of Jodhpur.

The former royals’ India visit comes even as only 78 days are left for the promulgation of a new constitution.

The new statute, which has to be enforced by May 28, would reinforce the status of Nepal, once a Hindu kingdom, as a secular republic.

However, given the continued political turmoil, there are growing fears that the new communist-Maoist government will fail to carry out the task.

The former king’s India visits are also regarded as lobbying for support for the restoration of monarchy, which his aides dismiss as groundless.

India played a major role in the pro-democracy movement of 2006 that ended King Gyanendra’s army-backed rule and led to the abolition of the crown.

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