Maoist Chairman Dahal, ex-King Shah 'encounter' in Pokhara
POKHARA, Sept 25: People in Pokhara eagerly watched the visit of UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and former King Gyanendra Shah to the tourist town at the same time on Sunday evening.
Their visit drew public attention because their arrival was so precise that they almost encountered each other while on their way to respective destinations and also because they were staying at a same village.
Though they were staying at two different hotels at Pumdibhimdi village in the outskirts of the tourist town, the distance between the two hotels is hardly one kilometer. While former king is in his ´religious tour´ in various western districts around Kaski for the last five days, Dahal arrived here on Sunday reportedly to take a rest and stay away from busy political schedule. Dahal´s aides said the former prime minister is suffering from fever.
Shah is staying at Fishtail Lodge across Fewa Lake and Dahal, along with his family members, stayed at Peace Dragon Resort near Fishtail Lodge on Sunday night. Dahal, however, moved to Begnas Resort on Monday.
Dahal and Shah happened to come across while travelling along the Siddhartha Highway at around 6 pm Sunday when the former king arrived in the town from Syangja district and Dahal was on the way to the resort. While Armed Police Force personnel was escorting former king Shah, Dahal was escorted by a group of security personnel provided for him in the capacity of former prime minister.
Though locals and onlookers claimed that Dahal and Shah happened to "see each other" at the time, aides from both the sides rubbished the claims.
Maoist district leader Jhalakpani Tiwari said they just happened to come across while driving along the highway.
Superintendent of Police Shambhu Upreti said it was nothing more than a coincidence of two sides coming across along the road.
Both Shah and Dahal are scheduled to stay in Pokhara until Wednesday.
"I am here to take a rest because I am suffering from fever and doctors have suggested me not to attend any political as well as private meetings," Dahal told reporters.
His aide Sameer Dahal said that they chose to fly to Pokhara because they had very hard time avoiding meetings and gatherings in Kathmandu.