“I cannot tell you exactly the amount Maoists have illegally pocketed. But, there are rumors that they have amassed billions and billions of rupees,” says Senior United Marxist Leninist Leader Madhav Kumar Nepal in his exclusive interview with Kantipur National Daily, October 28, 2012.
He adds, “They have however, amassed 17 Billion rupees from their cantonments. They have already accepted taking 50 Lakh rupees while handing over the contract for the construction of Pokhara Airport. Industrialists often complain that their business have been hardly hit by the Maoists’ extortion drive".
"In an interaction with the prime minister recently, business men openly told him that people around him have been directly involved in such activities. Hisila Ji was also present there", so says Mr. Nepal in the interview.
The Hisila factor.
“Extortion continues unabated,” he claimed and added, “I have told Chairman Prachanda that they should immediately stop extortion.”
Kantipur asks: There are rumors that you and Prachanda have joint investment in some commercial organizations. Is it true?
Madhav Nepal: (Laughs). I am listening this for the first time.
Kantipur: This we have heard from various quarters.
Madhav: Where is the investment?
Kantipur: Do you remember Hello Nepal?
Madhav: What? What is Hello Nepal? My money! My investment! Do I have the capital to make such a huge investment?
Kantipur: Behind the screen. Even Prachanda has not made investments openly?
Madhav: Prachanda ji has lot of money. He has collected 17 billion rupees from the cantonments. What do I have? What is my income source? I have not been involved in any acts of corruption. Is there anyone who could stand before me and make such an allegation? I have not taken money from any one.
Kantipur: What do you think of the rumors spread everywhere then?
Madhav: I have no idea. This is indeed surprising. What is Hello Nepal, I have no idea.
Kantipur: Because your son is working there…you may have?
Madhav: My son? Where does he work? He is studying at AIT, Bangkok. How can he work at Hello Nepal?
Kantipur: He was working there some time back.
Madhav: Where is Hello Nepal?
Kantipur: The Company owned by Ajay Raj Sumargi located in Dang.
Madhav: Dang? Yes, he worked there for three four months.
Kantipur: Perhaps this is the reason behind the rumor.
Madhav: What is the harm if he worked there? If I had made investments he would have been the owner of the company. He has freshly completed his engineering degree. He went there to gain some work experience. He is in Bangkok pursuing his masters’ degree.
Mr. Sumargi is the chief of Nepal Satellite Company-which operates its telecom service under the brand name ‘Hello Mobile’.
(Interviewed by Sarojraj Adhikari and Sanjaya Neupane for Kantipur Daily- the largest circulating daily newspaper in Nepal. Senior Journalist Sudhir Sharma is the chief editor-Ed).