PATHLAIYA: Bamdev Gautam, Standing Committee member, CPN-UML, found it rather usual and customary when he saw a group of people eagerly waiting to greet him with garlands and flowers when he alighted from the plane at the airport in Simra.
No sooner did he come closer to them, his cocksure demeanour gave away to utter disbelief.
They were neither UML activists nor did they come to receive him.
There were Maoist cadres, who had come to welcome their leader Giriraj Mani Pokharel. Both Gautam and Pokharel landed in Simra by the 10am flight from the capital.
The UML leader, however, tried to put up a brave front in the face of seeming embarrassment. “He held small talk with us. I offered him flower as courtesy,” said
Jagannath Ghimire, a Maoist cadre.
While, a security person said that the former Home Minister was stumped once he figured out that they were Maoist activists.
Used to trappings of power, he seemed to take it for granted
that fawning UML supporters would welcome him anywhere across the nation. However, he had a wait for a while in the VIP lounge before heading to Kolbi in Bara to take part in a regional assembly. In fact, he came here without prior notice.
Gautam and Pokharel were at ease in each other’s company in the VIP lounge.
Pokharel took his party cadres to task for “ignoring Gautam”. And his logic behind the new-found camaraderie: “We’re allCommunists”.