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India prefers Nepali Congress over Maoists

Mar 27, 2008 12:07 AM IST India India

New Delhi: India is backing the Nepali Congress over Maoists to take over power in the Himalayan nation.

Ahead of the Constituent Assembly elections in Nepal, India has for the first time openly declared its preference for the Nepali Congress.

National Security Advisor MK Narayanan said India's confidence in the Maoists is considerably lower.

"We have put a great deal of faith in Prime Minister (Girija Prasad) Koirala and the Nepali Congress. We're unsure as to where we stand with regard to the Maoists despite professions on both sides that we can work together," Narayanan said.

Meanwhile, a Maoist cadre was killed and around a dozen Nepali Congress Party workers were injured in a clash that occurred during an election campaign launched by the party in Solukhumbu district in eastern Nepal.

The cadre was killed when the police opened fire during the clash between the two groups, according to the police. Maoist Central Office Secretary claimed that the cadre was killed when the Congress activists opened fire at the Maoists. He said three other Maoist activists were also injured in the fighting.

However, Nepali Congress (NC) has denied that they had launched attack against the Maoists. NC Office Secretary Sobhakar Parajuli said that a dozen NC activists, including candidate from the district, Bal Bahadur KC were seriously injured.

Meanwhile, police have rescued eight activists of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, who were abducted by the Maoists from Thangpaldhap village in Sindhupalchowk district few days ago. The incident occurred when the armed Maoists attacked the RPP workers and took control of eight activists.

The elections, supported by the United Nations, will be held on April 10. It is a key component of the peace agreement between the government and the Maoists that ended a decade-long conflict.

(With inputs from PTI)

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