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Manisha’s royalist father gets party boot

Kathmandu , May 22: Bollywood actor Manisha Koirala’s politician father Prakash Koirala was today expelled from the Nepali Congress for toeing the royalist line and endorsing the February 1 coup by King Gyanendra.

Prakash, who hails from the first family of Nepali politics, was expelled from the Nepali Congress for a period of one year. Incidentally, the party was founded by Prakash’s father B.P. Koirala and is now headed by his uncle and three-time Prime Minister, Girija Prasad Koirala .

The expulsion brings down the curtains on a month-long drama involving Prakash and his daughter, both of whom openly endorsed the actions of the monarch including his takeover. Manisha has been quite vocal in her criticism of political parties who she alleged were responsible for the pathetic state of affairs in her country.

This is the toughest action taken by the party against a senior leader after the expulsion of former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on May 26 2002, for defying its directives. Deuba went on to be the Himalayan kingdom’s Premier twice since then.

Prakash’s expulsion was announced by a disciplinary committee headed by Mahanta Thakur today. The committee which was set up by the Nepali Congress leadership following the veteran’s controversial remarks which opposed the party line, also announced Prakash will cease to be even a primary member of the party with immediate effect.

The party decided to initiate action against Prakash following his controversial interview to the state-run Nepal Television in April endorsing the royal takeover. But the disciplinary committee constituted for the purpose kept a low profile after issuing a show cause notice to the outspoken leader.

However, it was forced to act after Prakash gave an interview to the English daily The Himalayan Times yesterday opposing the party’s demand for reinstatement of the House of Representatives. He argued that such a move would be against the spirit of the constitution and suggested a round table conference to discuss the issue.

He also said that since the Supreme Court has quashed a writ challenging the dissolution of the House of Representatives, there was no point in pursuing the idea any further.

Both the senior Koirala and Prakash were unavailable for comments.

Prakash, a former lawmaker, was a member of the Central Working Committee, the party’s apex policy making body.

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