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The King's Red Doppelganger

Maoist supremo Prachanda does a Gyanendra-like purge in his own ranks, the king can only benefit Updates

The King's Red Doppelganger The King's Red Doppelganger

In a quiet midnight exercise on April 29, soon after his return from a three-nation tour, King Gyanendra lifted the state of emergency he had imperiously clamped on the beleaguered nation. But nobody was seeing it as anything more than a symbolic retreat: the king continues to govern the country directly, fundamental rights remain suspended and chances of restoration of democracy appear remote.

Monarchs relinquish power only under popular pressure. The king of Nepal ought not to have any immediate fears on this count. For one, the clutch of political parties clamouring for restoration of democracy are fragmented, though serious efforts are afoot to unite them. Second, there have emerged ideological divisions in the top leadership of Maoists who are arguably the king's most powerful opponents. Add to this the loyalty of the 80,000-strong Royal Nepal Army (RNA) to him, and you'd understand Gyanendra's indifference to the democratic aspirations of his people.

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