CPN-UML leader Madhab Kumar Nepal has landed himself in a controversy for his speech at the 4 May mass rally. In a critical speech, he indirectly accused the king and the crown prince of serious crimes. In an attempt to earn applause from the crowd, Nepal came down so heavily on the monarch and the royal family that the royal palace has black listed him. "Madhab Nepal lost whatever little sympathy the king had for him.it ends any possibility of him becoming prime minister with the palace's support. He has been black listed," sources from the palace familiar with the king's temperament told us.
In an earlier incident, the palace expressed displeasure when Nepal declined to stay in a high-level team constituted to probe the royal massacre of July 2001. They have, however, conceded that Nepal's indiscreet declamation may be due to political difficulties.
There are speculations regarding Nepal's ultra-critical stance on the monarchy. Many believe Girija Prasad Koirala incited his statements. Koirala's proposal that Nepal stand as the future premier if the parliament is reinstated or an all-party government is constituted had been agreed upon by leaders from the five political parties involved in the joint movement. Nepal was obviously ecstatic about the prospect. Moreover, the nationwide attention Koirala received for his comments on the monarchy may have encouraged Nepal to be more acerbic than usual.
Strangely, Koirala, who was the last to address the rally, was comparatively soft on the monarch. Many interpret this change of tone as an attempt to kill two birds with one stone. Koirala gained support from Nepal by proposing him as a probable prime minister, but in the same stroke succeeded in diminishing Nepal's stature in the palace. With this latest development, the probability of Madhab Kumar Nepal getting the top job is very slight indeed, especially if a compromise has to be reached with His Majesty. Whether the joint campaign triumphs or not, analysts say Koirala's shrewd political tactics will see him come out on top.