21 October 2016: Former king Gyanendra Shah will be driven out of Nagarjun Palace if he continues his “provocative” posture, Nepal’s defense minister Bal Krishna Khand warned today.
Nagarjun, a humble building on the outskirts of Kathmandu city, has been the former royal couple’s private residence since a sweeping political change forced them out of the Narayanhiti Palace in 2008. The current address of Mr Shah is anything but a “palace”. However, it is a quiet residence known to be close to the ex-king’s heart.
Speaking today at a programme in eastern Nepal, Minister Khand complained that although Gyanendra Shah refers to himself as the “former king”, he is trying to act as a reigning king.
Mr Shah has been using Shri Panch, a title used by former kings of Nepal equivalent to His Majesty, which the defense minister said was “highly objectionable”.
“Someone who has been thrown into a corner must remain in his place,” a local newspaper quoted Mr Khand as saying.
Analysts, also, agree something is definitely “up” in the Himalayan nation which has lately made the former king somewhat extra-active for a deposed king.
Mr Shah, who turned down suggestion of a life in exile after the nation was declared a federal democratic republic eight years ago, has been attracting good-sized crowds wherever he goes. He even gets slogans from the remaining royalists pledging their support for a comeback.
One thing is certain. The former king is not likely to “remain in the corner” as suggested by Bal Krishna Khand.
Only yesterday, he told a congregation of religious leaders in Kathmandu that Nepal was facing a serious interference from external elements and urged his former subjects to ask some pertinent questions about the current stalemate dogging the country.
Reminding that Nepal had a history of never being subjugated by any foreign power, the last Shah King said, “We must look back and ponder why and how have we become what we are to day. Analysis of the overall situation of the nation and political situation during the past few years shows the country has been a victim of gross interference from outside, and it is trudging along a journey without a destination, with resultant frustration clouding people’s hopes.”
He further called on his fellow citizens to think about the causes that brought the “extreme and complicated situation” that Nepal today finds itself in. “What caused this?” he asked.
He also indicated that there were “dark clouds hovering over the sky posing big threat to our Dharma and culture”.