Karan Singh visits Nepal amid deepening political crisis

Senior Congress leader Karan Singh`s visit to Nepal at a time of a political crisis has sparked off a lot of speculation.

Kathmandu: Senior Congress leader Karan Singh`s visit to Nepal at a time of a political crisis has sparked off speculation that the veteran, who is said to have played a key role in the 2006 transition, is again here on a "political mission".
The senior Indian leader arrived here for a brief visit yesterday when he attended a function to mark the 150th birth anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya.
Later in the evening, Singh attended a dinner reception hosted by President of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Pashupati Shumsher Rana, who is also a close relative of Singh.

The function was attended by top political leaders of Nepal including Maoist chief Prachanda, Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal, former Prime Minister Surya Bahadur Thapa and some royalist leaders among others.

Though, Singh, the Chanceller of Benaras Hindu University, arrived here to extend an invitation to President Ram Baran Yadav, who is scheduled to visit India, political analysts here say Singh clearly has a "political mission".

President Yadav is scheduled to visit India on December 25 to receive an honorary Doctorate in Letters (D Lit) degree to be conferred by BHU.

However, Nepalese media is rife with speculation that Singh carried a "political message" from Indian establishment.

Media reports here said Singh is also holding political consultations during his brief stay here.

In 2006 when Nepal was in the grip of an anti-monarchy agitation, Singh had visited the country and held discussions with the then King Gyanendra. He is said to have played a key role in the peaceful transfer of power to political parties.

His current visit comes at a time when Nepal is struggling with political crisis in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly and the failure of political parties to form a government for holding fresh elections.

"Speculations were rife in Kathmandu about Singh`s arrival in town that he was carrying some political message", said The Himalayan Times.

"Karan Singh in Nepal with political mission," read the banner headline in Republica.
Singh`s meetings are likely to dwell on current political situation in Nepal, Republica speculated.

Singh is also likely to meet former King Gyanendra before he flies to New Delhi tomorrow, the daily said.

During his talks with political leaders of Nepal, Singh is said to have stressed on the need for unity and collaboration among political parties for conducting fresh elections at the earliest.

He is said to have advised the top leaders of political parties to work for consensus to resolve the current situation of political and constitutional deadlock.

Singh is learnt to have stressed the need to forge collaboration and unity among all stakeholders who had signed the 12-point agreement in New Delhi in 2005.
President Yadav is also hosting a dinner reception in his honour tonight at the Rastrapati Bhawan, sources said.

Maoist leaders had reached the understanding with major political parties of Nepal in Delhi to launch a struggle for ending the absolute rule of the King and to restore democratic rights in the country.

Singh addressing the function to mark the 150th anniversary of Madan Mohan Malaviya highlighted the role BHU played in strengthening India Nepal relations.
Singh also unveiled the restored 700-year-old Lok Kriti Mahavihar in Lalitpur. The historical monument has been repaired and restored to its original glory under the India-Nepal Development Partnership.

On the occasion, Singh called for close cooperation between India and Nepal in promoting the birth place of Buddha in Lumbini in Nepal and places such as Bodh Gaya, Sarnath and Kushinagar in India as part of a Buddhist circuit for promoting tourism between the two countries.


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