Gyanendra`s son-in-law joins party close to Maoists
Last Updated: Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 17:44
Kathmandu: Ousted Nepalese King Gyanendra's son-in-law Raj Bahadur Singh has 'secretly' joined a political party close to Maoists, who had waged a 10-year war in the country to topple the centuries-old monarchy.

34-year-old Singh recently became a member of the Nepali Janata Dal (NJD), which has two seats in the Constituent Assembly, party sources said today.

Singh was awarded membership of the party at its central office at Anamnagar here by its President Haricharan Sah on July 19, but the news was kept under wraps for weeks.

Welcoming the entry of Singh to the party, Sah had said the "membership of our party is open to all the Nepalese who want to build the nation and we are proud that we have got the opportunity to turn the royalist to a common man," according to the sources.

Singh became a member of NJD amid reports that the ex-King's son-in-law had launched a campaign to garner support for Maoist chairman Prachanda's candidature for the post of Prime Minister. The Maoist chief has thrice lost the election for the top post in Parliament, along with Nepali Congress' Ram Chandra Poudyal in recent weeks.

Singh was also reportedly engaged in raising funds for Maoists, who were allegedly involved in horse-trading of MPs to secure the Prime Ministerial berth for Prachanda. Besides, there were reports that Singh would be joining the Maoist party soon.

The former King's son-in-law's acquisition of NJD membership also coincided with the floor-crossing by 11 members of Madhesi People's Rights Forum (MPRF) to vote for Prachanda during the August 2 voting for the Prime Minister in Parliament. All other members of the four-party Madhesi alliance abstained from voting.

The NJD had cast its votes in favour of Prachanda?during the Prime Ministerial run-off for the third consecutive time. Nepal Parliament is set to hold the fourth round of election on Friday for a new Prime Minister.

Gyanendra, who was toppled in 2008 following a mass movement against the 241-year-old monarchy led by the Maoists, has often been in news these days as he has intensified his meetings with people during his visits to Hindu temples across the country.

The move by Singh to join NJD is being seen as a significant political development against the backdrop of Parliament failing to elect a new Prime Minister following incumbent Madhav Kumar Nepal's resignation over a month ago.

Singh, husband of Gyanendra's daughter Prerana Shah, is involved in various business ventures here. He recently took charge of 'Casino Royale' being operated in the premises of the five-star hotel 'Yak and Yeti' here.


First Published: Wednesday, August 04, 2010, 17:44

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