KATHMANDU, July 8: Former king Gyanendra Shah has claimed that the then agitating seven political parties, in a five-point agreement reached with him on April 24, 2006, had agreed not to do away with the monarchy, a claim the major political parties have refuted outright.
Shah was speaking in an interview with News24 Television to be aired on Sunday evening.
"Top leaders from all the seven political parties have signed that agreement and I still have a copy of the agreement in safe-keeping with me," Prem Baniya of the news channel, who interviewed the former king, quoted him as saying.
He, however, made it clear that he was not interested in ruling the country as an active king. "I want to come back as king with the role of guardian of the country but not as an active king," Shah explained when asked what role he wished to play in the changed context.
Shah also made it clear that he was not interested in a role like political leader. "I am not going to form a political party in my lifetime. I have nothing to say if anyone does so after my death," he said.
Asked to comment on the influence of international forces in Nepal, he said "There is an interference of international forces against Nepal´s interests".
Meanwhile, Nepali Congress (NC) and CPN-UML leaders have taken strong exception to the remarks of the former king.
NC General Secretary Krishna Prasad Sitaula, who was closely involved in inter-party negotiations at the time, said the claim of the former king is totally baseless.
“This is totally false. I am surprised to see a person of his stature saying this kind of baseless thing." He said he suspected that those who incited him to carry out the royal takeover in February 1, 2005 could have prompted him to make such remarks now. "It does not at all suit a person like him to make such false claims and mislead the people," he added.
Sitaula claimed that some groups who wanted to see monarchy revived in the country may have tried to take some undue advantage by inciting him to say such false things. "I sincerely suggest to him not to move along that path,” he further said.
Also, UML spokesman Pradeep Gyawali, who was closely involved in the negotiations, termed the former king´s claim baseless. He suggested to Shah to make the evidence public instead of making such claims.
"The only conditions the political parties had agreed on was to provide security arrangements for him and the Nagarjun palace for his residential purpose," said Gyawali.
According to him, the representatives from the international community had pressed the leaders from political parties to accept the king´s announcement made on April 21. "But later on April 24 Gyanendra had relinquished the power without any condition as there was an unprecedented and overwhelming support for the people´s movement from across the country," said Gyawali.