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Maoist leader Prachanda arrives in New Delhi

Last updated on: November 18, 2006 02:57 IST
Prachanda, leader of Nepal's Maoists, arrived in New Delhi on Friday evening and drove to the plush Maurya Sheraton Hotel where he will stay for the next couple of days.

The Maurya Sheraton is where US Presidents Bill Clinton and George W Bush stayed during their visits to New Delhi.

Asked how he felt about being in India, Prachanda said he was thrilled about his visit. "It is exciting. It feels good to be here," he said.

"This is my first visit as an 'overground' leader. I have been to India undercover earlier," he added.

Minutes after landing at the Indira Gandhi International Airport, Prachanda was held up at the immigration counter. It took him half an hour of explanations before the Maoist was allowed to leave the airport, accompanied by his wife Sita.

Onkar Singh in New Delhi