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Instead of walking, Manisha Koirala does some talking


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This was one role that shouldn't have created any further controversy for Manisha Koirala.

But the Nepalese actress whose recent roles in Bollywood films have been criticised for large dollops of sex found herself in the middle of a storm again in Nepal during the weekend.

Manisha, who is better known in Nepal as the granddaughter of late B.P. Koirala, the first elected prime minister of the Himalayan kingdom, had taken time off from her busy schedule as actress and producer to raise money for a cancer relief programme.

She was to participate in a walkathon organised by a branch of the Rotary Club Sunday as part of the fundraising programme.

However, the rally had to be shelved due to a government ban on all assembly, other than religious processions, in strategic parts of the capital with a view to curbing an indefinite protest started by a coalition of five opposition parties on April 1.

However, the actress took it in her stride, using the time to instead attend a press conference, where she forsook her grandfather's beliefs and championed King Gyanendra.

Though she said she was not interested in Nepal's politics, the visiting actress, whose great uncle, aunts and a cousin are members of the opposition Nepali Congress party that wants to clip the powers of the king, criticised the stir by the coalition.

"When the king has announced elections would be held, there is no need for a mass movement," she said.

This is the second time in recent days that the Mumbai-based actress has shown her support for the king.

Last week, her great uncle, four-time prime minister and present head of the Nepali Congress Girija Prasad Koirala was injured in a scuffle between protesters and security forces during a rally.

Manisha, who is scheduled to play the late Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi in a Bollywood film but has ruled out any possibility of joining politics in real life in her own country, is also said to be scouting for land in Kathmandu where she would like to build a studio.

She was reported as saying she would like to build a "film city" in the capital, get cracking on an English script and adopt a child.


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