Row over `secret deal` between PM Khanal and Prachanda
Last Updated: Sunday, February 06, 2011, 21:59
Kathmandu: A row has erupted in Nepal over a "secret agreement" between Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal and Maoist supremo Prachanda, with the Nepali Congress condemning the pact that deals with the country's stalled peace process.

Just as Khanal was sworn in as the new prime minister today, second largest Nepali Congress party, condemned the "secret agreement" between Khanal and Prachanda on the country's peace process, including the integration of the former rebels into the army.

The Central Working Committee meeting of the Nepali Congress flayed the seven-point "secret agreement" linked to the peace process and the monitoring of the arms and the army of the former Maoist combatants.

The deal reached between the two leaders, especially those regarding integration and rehabilitation of Maoist combatants blatantly violated interim constitution, 2006 Comprehensive Peace Accord and other agreements between previous governments and the Maoist party, said CWC member Bimalendra Nidhi.

Khanal was elected the prime minister after Maoist supremo Prachanda quit the race in his favour in a last minute deal on Thursday.

Nepali Congress today took serious exception to the Maoist-UML agreement to form a separate force composed either of equal number of both the Maoist combatants and government security forces or of only Maoist combatants, Nidhi said after the CWC meeting.

"The question of integration is something that has to be decided at the Special Committee. It's not a matter to be resolved through any secret deal between two parties," the Nepali Congress said.

"Nepali Congress condemns the agreement reached between the two that violates the peace process," it said in a statement.

The CWC meeting said the seven-point deal went directly against the interim constitution, the Agreement on Monitoring of the Management of Arms and Armies (AMMAA) and all the past agreements in course of the peace process.

The Nepali Congress decided to be in the Opposition and constructively and creatively involve itself in the peace process and constitution drafting through the Constituent Assembly.

"Nepali Congress decides to remain in the opposition in the present context," the release said. "NC will decide about its views towards the government after studing the policy and programmes of the government? it said.

There is growing anger in a section of the CPN-UML party and the Nepali Congress, which supported the Communist party-led government since 2009, over the "secret deal" with the Maoists, sources said.

Even as Khanal was sworn in as the new prime minister, the cabinet formation was delayed amid differences with its key ally Maoists. Now Khanal is likely to form a small cabinet tomorrow.


First Published: Sunday, February 06, 2011, 21:59

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