Though Karat later denied having met Bhattarai, sources say the meeting did take place, albeit without the assistance of intelligence agencies. These sources told Outlook that Bhattarai was to meet CPI leader A.B. Bardhan in the week following May 12. "But the meeting," they claim, "didn't take place due to technical reasons." These claims and denials apart, just about everyone believes that, in a display of running with the hare and hunting with the hound, New Delhi was hosting Bhattarai even though his party—the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), or CPN(M)—is described as a terrorist outfit.
The reported meeting between Karat and Bhattarai couldn't have been more inopportune. On Thursday, May 19, the RNA released an audio-visual tape in which Maoist supremo Prachanda was shown telling his cadres that Bhattarai had been divested of all responsibilities since he's India's man, that the Indian government had withheld release of two incarcerated Maoist leaders, C.P. Gajurel and Mohan Baidya alias Kiran, as "earlier assured" because New Delhi's 'man' Bhattarai had been sidelined in the party. The tape even claimed that the Indian government had invited Maoists for a parley, but this dialogue didn't take place because Prachanda insisted upon New Delhi sending its man to "our area and we'll take the responsibility for his safety and security."