6-12 March 2015 #748

“Saran undid monarchy deal”

Bal Kumar Nepal in Annapurna Post, 2 March

Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) Chair Pashupati Shumsher Rana has made the sensational disclosure that the political parties had reached a secret deal with the then king Gyanendra in 2006 to not abolish the monarchy. However, former Indian ambassador Shyam Saran played spoilsport and overturned the deal.

Rana told journalists that Karan Singh mediated between the political parties and Gyanendra to save the monarchy. But, Saran, who was by then India’s Foreign Secretary visited Kathmandu after Singh and the agreement unravelled.

Singh had come to Kathmandu as a special envoy of India at the height of the April Uprising-2006, and shortly after Gyanendra announced that he was ready to step down as Chair of the Council of Ministers and form a new government of political parties. But, political parties rejected Shah’s offer outright.

Gyanendra reinstated parliament which he had dissolved accusing political parties of being ‘inefficient’ in dealing with Maoist violence, maintain political stability and ensure good governance.

“What Karan Singh said publicly before returning to India indicated that there was a deal between then king and political parties,” said Rana. “But, the deal was off when Saran returned to Delhi.”

Rana is related to Karan Singh, and this revelation at a politically critical time is now being viewed as meaningful. Highly placed sources say the secret deal would have amended a law about the monarchy in the first session of the reinstated parliament on 18 May 2006.

Last month, issuing a statement on the eve of Democracy Day, Gyanendra claimed he had reached an agreement with political parties in 2006 which they had gone back on. He urged political parties to implement that agreement, but did not specify which one it was.

Meanwhile, the political parties denied any agreement with Gyanendra, and NC leader Krishna Sitaula has said the only deal was that political parties would allow the ex-King to live in Nirmal Niwas.

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