The Maoist party has decided that its supremo Prachanda will remain underground even in the event of a Maoist led government. Our sources reveal he would not meet the monarch even if the Maoists are offered the position of creating an interim government for a constituent assembly. He turned down a meeting at the palace prior to the present ceasefire.
During the last failed peace talks, Prachanda was portrayed as a conservative militarist, whereas Baburam Bhattarai was put across as a pro-talk leader within the Maoist party. Badal's presence on the latest Maoist negotiation team is said to be at the request of the palace.
Some members of the cabinet claim the present ceasefire has been initiated without a code of conduct. Two weeks after the Maoists announced their negotiation team, the government has yet to reciprocate with its list. Meanwhile, a statement released by Prachanda has made it clear that his party does not recognise the Chand government. The rebels also expressed their displeasure at government-owned media ignoring their decision to withdraw the Nepal bandh and the revelation of their negotiation team. The Maoists have made clear their proposed peace talk is with the king and not the government.
The latter was ignorant of any proposals of a ceasefire that was declared in late January. Some analysts view the exclusion as a strategy by the king and the Maoists to keep away possible foreign interference in domestic matters.