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India for ‘peaceful transition’ in Nepal


New Delhi : India Tuesday reacted cautiously to the political crisis engulfing Nepal after the Maoists quit the coalition government, saying it was an “internal issue” of the country and hoped that the differences will be “resolved democratically” to allow the Nepalese to choose their own future.

“These are internal issues of Nepal, to be resolved by Nepal itself,” External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee said in a statement.

“We would hope that all concerned will implement previous understandings, that underpin Nepal’s peaceful transition, and that differences will be resolved democratically,” he said.

“The common goal must remain to enable the people of Nepal to choose their own future and the manner of their governance,” the minister said while reacting to recent developments that have cast a shadow on the elections to be held in November.

The Maoists, after nearly six months in government, Tuesday quit the ruling coalition accusing Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and his Nepali Congress of trying to save unpopular King Gyanendra.

They also vowed to start a new “people’s revolt” for the abolition of monarchy.

According to the peace deal that ended a decade of civil war, the future of the monarchy was supposed to have been decided by a constitutional body to be democratically elected in November.

India has stressed on the need to hold Constituent Assembly polls in Nepal in a free and fair manner.

“India acknowledges the critical importance of the elections to the Constituent Assembly, as scheduled and in an environment free of fear and intimidation,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon had said last week at the end of his two-day visit to Nepal.