Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that an Indian businessman "once made efforts" to make him PM
Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda's stunning remarks that an Indian businessman settled here "once made efforts" to make him the premier has stirred up a storm in the Himalayan Nation with the Opposition demanding his resignation.
Prachanda also said that Sardar Pritam Singh, a pioneer trucking entrepreneur in Nepal, played a special and historic role in enhancing Nepal-India relations.
Prachanda made these remarks on Monday while addressing a function to launch the book, 'Roads to the Valley: The Legacy of Sardar Pritam Singh in Nepal' "He (Singh) had once made efforts to make me the prime minister," Prachanda said.
"He travelled to Delhi several times and held multiple rounds of talks with political leaders in Kathmandu to make me the prime minister," the Prime Minister said.
Prachanda also said that Singh has played a special and historic role in enhancing Nepal-India relations.
The remarks have stirred up a storm and drawn criticism from several quarters.
The main Opposition party Communist Party of Nepal-(Unified Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) disrupted the National Assembly meeting on Wednesday, demanding the prime minister's resignation. The meeting has been postponed to 1 pm Thursday.
Chairman of CPN-UML, KP Sharma Oli talking to media persons on Wednesday said that they want resignation from the Prime Minister, not a clarification.
Demanding the prime minister's resignation, former prime minister Oli said, "his remarks have given a blow to national independence, dignity, the Constitution and the parliament itself."
Similarly, the House of Representatives meeting has been postponed until 3 pm Friday, following the disruption by opposition parties - the UML, the Rashtriya Swatantra Party, and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) - over Prachanda's remarks.
The members of the main Opposition Communist CPN-UML and the RPP shouted slogans that "a Prime Minister appointed by New Delhi does not have the right to continue in the post".
Speaking in the lower house, UML lawmaker Raghuji Pant said, "The prime minister should resign on moral grounds. We don't need a prime minister appointed by Delhi." Not only the opposition, but the ruling parties have also expressed their dissatisfaction with Prachanda's statement.
"The prime minister's remarks are worthy of criticism. His remarks are wrong," said Bishwa Prakash Sharma talking to journalists after the House meeting on Wednesday.
This is not the first time Nepal's top leaders have courted controversy for their imprudent remarks over sensitive issues such as geopolitics, bilateral relations and other national issues.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister has clarified his controversial remarks about Sardar Pritam Singh at a book launch on Sunday saying that "it has been misinterpreted to cause a stir."
Addressing a training program organised by All Nepal National Independent Students Union, a sister organisation of his party in the capital on Wednesday, Prime Minister Prachanda said that what he had said about Pritam Singh at the launching of the book 'Roads to the Valley' (The Legacy of Sardar Pritam Singh in Nepal) authored by Kirandeep Sandhu was quoted from what Pritam Singh had said in the book, but people are trying to make a fuss over it.
"I wanted to show that Pritam Singh was not only interested in social service and transport business but also in politics and that he had lobbied with parties in Delhi as well as in Nepal to make him Prime Minister."
"In my opinion, the Prime Minister might not intend to indicate India's intervention in Nepal's internal politics. But he should have used political and diplomatic words in a cautious manner while speaking about such a sensitive issue," said Ganesh Shah, CPN-Maoist Centre secretary while giving his comment on the Prime Minister's controversial remarks.
The Parliament was dwelling on serious and important issues but unfortunately, his remarks made its postponement lose valuable time, which could have otherwise been used for fruitful discussions, he pointed out.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)