Former Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran met CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal while he was in Kathmandu to participate in a program about peace and security organized by the political department of the UN.
“Shyam Saran had come to Nepal to participate in a program of UN. I informed Dahal about that and took Saran to his residence in Khumaltar in my car and had breakfast there after he showed interest to meet Saran,” Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker Amresh Kumar Singh told Setopati. “There was omelet and buckwheat roti (flat bread) in breakfast.”
He claimed that there was no secret talk between Dahal and Saran, and they did not talk for long.
He added that the UN’s program was originally scheduled to be held in Colombo, Sri Lanka and was shifted to Kathmandu only after the Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka.
Dahal’s secretariat has already refuted reports about the meeting and claimed Dahal has had no secret meetings with any Indian individual or body.
Setopati on Thursday had reported that Baluwatar has been rocked after Saran quietly came to Kathmandu and met Dahal.
Sources close to Prime Minister (PM) and CPN Chairman KP Sharma Oli confided with Setopati that Saran, who keeps keen interest in Nepal affairs, came to Kathmandu in the last week of June, met Dahal at Khumaltar and returned back to Delhi.
PM Oli did not even know about the ‘secret’ meeting for a few days. “PM Oli has started discussions with his confidants after arrival of former Indian ambassador to Nepal and foreign secretary Shyam Saran, and recent meetings of Dahal with Indian ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri,” a source said.
A member of the Oli Cabinet also confirmed that.
Members of PM Oli’s core team Bishnu Rimal and Rajan Bhattarai had posted on social media about external maneuverings after that.
The issues of differing comments by ministers about the testing of Indian vegetables for pesticides and the public denial by PM Oli about the Indian letter also have been linked with these meetings.
PM Oli in the program ‘PM with people’ broadcast on Nepal Television had also hinted that Dahal did not tell him about the letter despite having knowledge about that.
“The Indian Embassy apparently wrote to the Foreign Ministry to not test Indian vegetables for pesticides. The Indian ambassador then reached Khumaltar to meet Dahal carrying that letter. Dahal then phoned Industry Minister Matrika Yadav and instructed to stop the process of pesticide testing,” the source told Setopati confirming what Oli hinted.