Prachanda has given up anti-India rhetoric: Chinese media

Prachanda has given up anti-India rhetoric: Chinese media

Concerned by Nepal's Maoist supremo Prachanda's bid to "appease" India during his just-concluded visit, China's official media today said it's a "clear departure" from his earlier policy towards New Delhi.

"Looking closely at speeches of Prachanda during his four-day official India visit one can find a clear departure from the Maoist party's earlier policy towards Nepal's southern neighbour," China's state-run Xinhua news agency said in a report today.

"Political observers say UCPN (Maoist) changed its India policy realising that India has a huge influence in Nepal's internal politics and it is not possible to gain power without appeasing the country's southern neighbour," it said.

During his meetings with Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Prachanda did not discuss the party's differences and disputes; he was more focused on winning the trust of Indian leaders, the report quoted analysts as saying.

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda visited Beijing and met President Xi Jinping and other leaders before his visit to India and sought financial aid from Beijing for Nepal's development.

"Raising old differences will provoke the bilateral relation, so we have to redefine our relation with India," the Xinhua report quoted Prachanda as saying in an interview with an influential Nepalese daily.

As the party chairman, Prachanda did not raise these contentious issues during the visit, giving a message to the Indian leadership that the party has changed its earlier policy towards India, the report said.

"UCPN (Maoist) abandoned their agendas to appease India because the party has realised that without making a cordial relationship with the southern neighbour (India) it is difficult to get power in the country," it quoted a former UCPN (Maoist) leader Mumaram Khanal as saying.

During the meeting with Indian leaders, Prachanda tried to assure them that his party is ready to address the security and other concerns of India, it said. In his political document, endorsed by the Party's seventh general convention last year, Prachanda talked about making relations with India more cordial and having a balanced relationship with both India and China, the report said.

59-year-old Prachanda is known for his anti-India rhetoric after his removal from power in 2009 when he had tussle with President Ram Baran Yadav over the issue of sacking the then Army chief Rukmangad Katawal.

However, UCPN-M has since softened its stance against India when Baburam Bhattarai was elevated to power with the backing of Madhesi parties in 2011.
UCPN (Maoist) was raising the issue of "national independence" during the tussle over Katawal, but now seems to have downplayed the issue, the report said.

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