India accused of spoiling Maoist chances in Nepal

September 12th, 2010 - 3:45 pm ICT by IANS  

By Sudeshna Sarkar
Kathmandu, Sep 12 (IANS) Fresh India bashing has started in Nepal with a Communist leader accusing New Delhi of having spent millions of rupees to prevent the Maoists from coming to power again.

Veteran communist leader Narayan Man Bijukchhe, whose Nepal Workers and Peasants Party has five MPs in the 601-member parliament and a stronghold in the Newar community-dominant Bhaktapur city, is now alleging that India’s external intelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis Wing) has threatened an ethnic party from the Terai plains with dire consequences if it supports Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda during the prime ministerial poll.

Bijukchhe, who has been calling for the dissolution of parliament and imposition of president’s rule in Nepal, said at a public programme in Kathmandu valley Saturday that the Indian government had spent NRs.220 million on the Terai parties to stop them from voting for Prachanda.

He also alleged that RAW officials had met Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhedar, who heads the Terai party Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Loktantrik), at a five-star hotel last week and warned him that if his party helped the Maoists form the new government, its wings would be clipped.

Though Bijukchhe did not substantiate his allegations or disclose the source of his information, they were seized by the Maoists to fuel new anti-India propaganda.

“India is the force preventing the formation of a government in Nepal”, the Maoist mouthpiece Janadisha daily said in a front-page report Sunday.

Bijukchhe’s allegations were also reported in various degrees by other media organisations.

The new India bashing comes even as a jumbo 21-member Chinese delegation is on a five-day visit to Nepal to strengthen ties between Nepal’s parties and China’s ruling Communist Party of China.

Headed by Vice Premier He Yong, who is also secretary at the secretariat of the 17th Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, the delegation, unfazed by allegations of Maoists seeking bribe money from friends in China, have met Maoist chief Prachanda.

On Sunday, the visitors also met caretaker Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who assured them that Nepal would not allow its soil to be used for anti-China activities.

They will also meet President Ram Baran Yadav and other political leaders.

The visit comes after an audio tape surfaced in Kathmandu, recording a conversation purportedly between Maoist lawmaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara and an unidentified man, who promised that his “friend” in China was willing to pay NRs.500 million to help Prachanda buy the support of 50 MPs from the Terai parties.

Bijukchhe said the tape was circulated by India. He gave a clean chit to the Chinese government, saying the money could have been promised by a Chinese businessman.

Despite seven rounds of a prime ministerial election in parliament, the Maoists failed to win as four Terai parties which can help Prachanda win the simple majority needed in parliament have been staying away from the vote.

The eighth round of vote is scheduled Sep 26.

(Sudeshna Sarkar can be contacted at sudeshna.s@ians.in)

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