Ex-King barred from distributing flood relief ahead of polls

Ex-King barred from distributing flood relief ahead of polls

Nepal today barred former king Gyanendra Shah and his daughter-in-law from distributing relief materials directly to flood victims as it violated an election code of conduct.

The District Administration Office in Kailali district of western Nepal halted the relief distribution work by Gyanendra and Himani as it may influence voting in the November 19 general elections.

They both were distributing the relief materials to the flood victims on behalf of the Himani Trust, a platform created by the Gyanendra's family to engage in different kinds of social activities after the abolition of monarchy in 2008.

Relief material distributed by the ex-King and his daughter-in-law in flood hit Darchula on Wednesday has led to protests by some local political activists.

"Himani Trust later handed over the relief materials to the District Natural Disaster Rescue Committee (DNDRC) and Nepal Red cross Kailali district chapter," said Kailali Chief District Officer Bed Prasad Lekhak.

The government authorities are distributing the relief materials  meant for 1,000 flood victims in Tikapur, which include rice, utensils, clothes, and school uniforms to primary level students.

The government has made it mandatory for any individual or organisation to distribute the relief materials through the district body instead of distributing directly to the victims.

The incident has come at a time when Mohan Vaidya, chairman of CPN-Maoist, the breakaway faction of Unified CPN-Maoist, has made controversial remarks saying that his party could forge alliance with the former King for the sake of protecting nationalism.

"There could also be collaboration with the former King, who carry true feelings of nationalism. There is no alternative to the formation of a greater front with all the nationalist forces including the former King," said Vaidya at a function organised in Nuwakot district.

Top Maoist leader and former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has slammed Vaidya calling him pro-monarchist.

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