Gyanendra faces fresh eviction as Maoists ready cabinet

August 22nd, 2008 - 2:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Aug 22 (IANS) Nepal Friday heaved a sigh of relief with former Maoist guerrillas finally forming a new cabinet more than four months after the elections. But it is a fresh blow for ousted king Gyanendra, who now faces eviction from the mansion that had been his refuge since quitting the royal palace in June.The last king of the Hindu kingdom of Nepal, who was reported to be penning his autobiography in his present solitary life, has begun looking for a new abode as he has to vacate the Nagarjun summer palace where the earlier Girija Prasad Koirala government had allowed him to shift from the Narayanhity royal palace.

Though the Koirala government had said the former hunting lodge of the royal family, now the property of the state, was loaned temporarily to the former king and his wife Komal to facilitate their final exit from the palace, it did not make any move to nudge the former royals away even two months later.

After winning the April election, Prachanda, the chief of the Maoist party that waged a 10-year war on the omnipotent royal family and brought their downfall two years ago, had indicated that the deposed king would be asked to find a new roof over his head once he came to power.

With Prachanda sworn in as republic Nepal’s new prime minister last week and a Maoist-led cabinet to be sworn in Friday, the ex-king has read the writing on the wall.

The former king could now move into the residence of his uncle, the late Prince Himalaya, reported Jana Aastha, the Nepali weekly that has been a close watcher of the palace.

The sprawling mansion, located in Kathmandu’s quiet Chhauni area, was transferred to Gyanendra’s name when he was a prince, the weekly said.

Before moving into the Narayanhity palace almost a year after his ascension to the throne, Gyanendra, who used to be a businessman, lived in Nirmal Niwas, his private residence, not far from the palace.

The former king finds it impossible to move back into his old mansion as he has given it to his son, former crown prince Paras.

Though the controversial former heir to Nepal’s throne left for Singapore along with his family, the tabloid said his wife, former crown princess Himani, had returned with their youngest child.

Himani, it said, would live in Kathmandu along with daughter Krittika while the two older children were now studying in Singapore.

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