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Updated: May 2, 2010 02:35 IST

Prachanda warns India

Prerana Marasini
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Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal
Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" addresses supporters during a Labour Day rally in Kathmandu on Saturday May 1, 2010. Photo: AFP

Chairman of the UCPN (Maoist) Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” on Saturday warned India not to interfere in Nepal's internal matters.

Addressing thousands of party cadre here on the occasion of May Day, Mr. Prachanda said: “If India thinks that by backing Madhav Kumar Nepal, it will make everything all right; if it thinks that it now holds the command of Nepal Army and the Army would do whatever it says; and that the Maoists want to kill Nepali people, then the Indian leaders are making a mistake. We appeal them not to make this mistake.”

He said the party cadre had gathered to protect Nepal's sovereignty. The Maoists say the CPN (UML)-led government is “remote-controlled” and is a “puppet” of India.

Stance changed

Mr. Prachanda said the government's stance changed after Mr. Nepal's visit to Thimphu, Bhutan, where Mr. Nepal met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

He pointed out a recent announcement that the Nepal Army could be mobilised to control the Maoist movement. “I believe you would not listen to a voice that came redirected from Thimphu,” he told the gathering.

Meanwhile, Mr. Nepal, who has been under pressure from the Maoists to resign, said there could be no change in the government because of threats from the streets.

Addressing the nation on Saturday, some minutes after the Maoists' mass assembly in the capital concluded, Mr. Nepal said: “What meaning would democracy and constitutional process hold if one's demand is fulfilled by threats and from the streets?”

The UCPN (Maoist) has announced an indefinite nationwide strike from Sunday if no consensus is reached on forming a new national government. Mr. Nepal requested the Maoists to withdraw their strike and come forward for talks.

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