Tripartite talks in New Delhi

Tripartite talks in New Delhi

On the 13th day of Bhogendra Man Singh’s death, a delegation representing Rana rulers which included Bijaya Shumsher, Keshar Shumsher accompanied by then Indian ambassador to Nepal Chandreshwar Narayan Singh departed for New Delhi for tripartite talks between King Tribhuvan, Rana rulers and Nepali Congress.

King Tribhuvan represented himself along with Crown Prince Mahendra, Prince Himalaya and Prince Basundhara, the Rana government was represented by Major General Bijaya Shumsher along with officials from the Foreign Ministry, and Nepali Congress was represented by Matrika Prasad Koirala, B P Koirala, Subarna Shumsher, Krishna Prasad Bhattarai, Mahendra Bikram Shah, Mahabir Shumsher, Vishwa Bandhu Thapa and Bharat Mani Sharma.

India being the mediator would not allow direct dialogue between the three parties, and would relay messages to each party. The Rana government insisted Gyanendra be declared the king of Nepal, whereas the Indian government did not agree.

Finally, an agreement was reached upon – King Tribhuvan would serve as the constitutional monarch while ushering democratic reforms. The reforms included a Council of Ministers of 10 ministers – 5 from the Rana government and 5 from Nepali Congress. The tripartite agreement also mandated the formation of a democratic constitution within two years.

Nepali Congress’s reservations

Nepali Congress had a few reservations about the tripartite agreement. They were of the view that the ministerial cabinet which was to include five ministers from the Rana government would create an air of uncertainty around the establishment of democracy in Nepal, and further prolong the Rana rule. They raised the same reservations with India.

Jawaharlal Nehru, who was actively mediating the dialogue, explained to leaders of Nepali Congress that reforms should be introduced gradually, and that this was the first, but an important step towards democratic reform in Nepal.

Leaders, although not entirely convinced, agreed to Nehru’s view. In return they insisted Nepali Congress should receive the important ministerial portfolios.

NC announces ceasefire, K I Singh continues protests

Mukti Sena, Nepali Congress’s Liberation Army had been demonstrating extraordinary results since the launch of the protests. It had been able to successfully capture several territories in Nepal.

Following the tripartite agreement, Matrika Prasad Koirala, on behalf of Nepali Congress announced a cease fire. Mukti Sena obliged – with one exception – Kunwer Inderjit Singh. Dr K I Singh, who had been leading the armed revolution from Bhairawaha was of the view that the Delhi Accord (the tripartite agreement) was a betrayal.

Dr K I Singh continued protests, and an arrest warrant had to be issued to suppress his movements – however, that is in a later stage.

Nepal Women’s Association too at the time staged a protest against Prime Minister Mohan Shumsher.

Meanwhile in Kathmandu, a reactionary party emerged under the leadership of Babar Shumsher’s grandson Bharat Shumsher. The new party Khukuri Dal, would go about terrorizing the people of the valley, carrying naked Khukuri in their hands, forcing shopkeepers to pull their shutters. The members of Khukuri Dal would also harass passersby.

Unable to bear the harassment of Khukuri Dal, groups of people began forming the Block Protection Group. The organisation would protect residents of Kathmandu against the terror unleashed by the Khukuri Dal, and keep an eye out for such activities by the Khukuri Dal.

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