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
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 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.