With the Maoists assuring the royalists they will revive the monarchy if they help them form a government, their regressive journey has been confirmed. Pushpa Kamal Dahal recently met with Kamal Thapa of RPP-Nepal, the only party openly advocating a monarchy.
The royalists have been encouraged by Dahal's statement about an alliance of true nationalists. "India betrayed both the parties. So we have come to the conclusion that an alliance of two nationalist forces is possible," a central committee member of RPP-Nepal said.
Ex-king Gyanendra, however, is not so convinced. He has given the responsibility of forging a business deal with the Maoists to his son-in-law Raj Bahadur Singh, businessman Ajay Sumargi and some ex-army generals.
The Maoist-royalist connection goes back a long way. The Maoists had relations with the palace even at the height of the insurgency, and it has already been revealed that there were agreements to share power. Baburam Bhattarai had to face action from his own party when he opposed this process.
According to sources, Singh and Sumargi, among others, have been gathering funds to help Dahal get 301 votes in parliament. It is not mere coincidence that the Times of India published news on 30 August about Singh's attempts to get 10 to 15 more MPs on Dahal's side.
Sources also claim that ex-crown prince Paras called Moti Dugad, MP of Nepal Sadbhawana Party (Anandidevi) to the Soaltee Hotel to get him to vote in favour of Dahal.
Fearing disclosure, Dahal has only allowed his brother Narayan and nephew Sameer to handle the money involved. Reportedly, 500 to 550 million rupees have been set aside to buy MPs, to be spent only on the night of 1 August.
Alleging that Dahal has engaged in horse-trading both with India and the royalists to become the prime minister, a politburo member said, "Whoever he settles the deal with, it will be against the country and the spirit of the people's movement." Another Maoist leader said, "If this is where they wanted to take the country, why did they have to kill 14 thousand people?"
UCPN(Maoist)-RPP(N) front possible
What has brought together such strongly opposed parties?
We are in an interim period. This means the constitutional republic, secularism and federalism are also interim. The Maoists know this well. We want a referendum on the issues of monarchy, secularism and federalism. Prachanda has assured us that he will consider this once there is a Maoist government.
What is Dahal's stance on monarchy?
Prachanda has said that there could be a cultural or religious king. The issue of national unity and independence are our common agendas.
Why do you think he saw any possibility of a cultural king?
We are motivated by the fact that the king is inevitable for national unity, independence, and the protection of national sovereignty.
Do you think Maoist support is enough to restore the monarchy?
It is an issue of national importance and therefore needs the support of all parties.