Maoists will get few votes if polls held now: Moriarty

New Delhi, October 30:

US Ambassador to Nepal, James F Moriarty, said today that the Maoists have no strong base of support of the Nepali people. “If elections are held in the present context, the Maoists will get very few votes,” Moriarty said at a luncheon hosted by him here for select journalists and intellectuals of India.

“The Maoists’ claim regarding people’s support for them is not factual,” he said. “They will not submit their entire arms; they have a different grand design,” Ananda Sworup Barma, one of the participants, quoted Moriarty as saying.

Stating that the Maoists should not be included in the government until their arms are managed, Moriarty said: “The US has not provided the assistance it is planning for Nepal due to the Maoists.”

“They are not in a mood to renounce their arms,” he said. Moriarty, who arrived here last evening on a regular consultation, met former foreign secretary of India Shyam Saran yesterday.

The US envoy also held consultations with joint secretary in-charge of the Nepal-Bhutan Division at the Indian External Affairs Ministry, Pankaj Sharan, on recent developments in Nepal. Moriarty is scheduled to return to Kathmandu tomorrow. Spokesperson at the US Embassy in New Delhi, David Kennedy, told this daily that Moriarty was here for holding discussions with high-ranking officials in the Indian External Affairs Ministry.