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Oli-led Government-24

Issue March 2016

Victory Of Deuba Over Poudel

Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Victory of Deuba over Poudel was not any political miracle or anything significant for that matter. The victory was also not because Deuba being so popular among the people. The irony is that the so-called Democratic Party elected its president with merely slightly more than 1,800 votes of the delegates to the thirteenth national convention of the NC. Then Deuba claimed that he was the leader of the majority party in the parliament. That was true but hundreds of thousands of Nepalese had voted for the NC party not for Deuba that any leader of NC ignored in the past and even now.


Ramchandra Poudel had proved that he was not a seasoned politician but he reached the pinnacle of the NC leadership primarily apple-polishing Girija Prasad Koirala. He was once a skinny schoolteacher working in his home district called Tanahu. The change in the political system in 1990 brought him to the center and even made him a minister for agriculture that made him very fat and overweight and even unhealthy physically. Poudel running for the prime minister seventeen times without success had proved his immaturity in the politics making him a laughingstock in 2012.


One thing Poudel must have overlooked must be that Sher Bahadur Deuba must have bought the majority votes in the elections to the NC leadership. Poudel certainly must have sufficient money stashed away somewhere but he must have opted for losing the elections rather than spending his illegally well-earned money proving himself again being very stingy at the cost of being one of the most power politicians at this time.


Anyway let us talk about the system of electing the NC president. The process of electing the NC president was so designed that any shrewd politician having sufficient money and the wish to spend it on gaining the political power through the manipulation of a few thousands delegates to a national convention of the party could be the elected president of the so-called Democratic Party. Once s/he elected to the president of the party then s/he had the power to nominate one of the two general secretaries, and s/he could make a number of nominations to the central committee supposed to bind the president of the party to democracy but in reality it becoming the rubber stamp of the president more often than not.


Deuba had the authority to appoint a general secretary to counter the general secretary elected from the panel of Poudel. Shashank Koirala the youngest son of the late former elected Prime Minister BP Koirala got elected to the general secretary of the NC from the Poudel panel defeating Arjun-narshingha KC of the Deuba panel. The next BP Koirala’s son Shekhar Koirala also the panel of Poudel had been poised to win the election to the member of the central committee of NC.


The Koirala brothers had publicly stated that they had been for taking the country back to the 20th century if not 19th century. Whether it was possible or impossible they did not think about it but they simply dreamt of it. Their father BP Koirala had proved how he had been a non-visionary political leader and how he had suffered throughout his political life only because of saving the already decayed monarchy that had been shoved in a so-called palace but not better than the cowshed of the then most powerful Rana prime ministers.


The first mistake of BP Koirala made had been agreeing on transferring the power from the Rana hereditary prime minister to the dormant King Tribhuvan without having any power to the people that had shed blood to tear down the autocratic Rana family rule in 1951. That mistake alone had landed BP Koirala in jail for seven years and then sent him to exile for another seven years totally denying him any public speeches for the thirty years of the king’s direct rule through the so-called no-party Panchayat system from 1960 to 1990.


BP Koirala could have easily got an appointed parliament for transferring the power to it rather than the monarchy that had been made almost good-for-nothing for 104 years. Such a parliament would have controlled not only the power hungry monarch but also the young politicians such as BP Koirala, Ganeshman Singh and their colleagues, and it would have saved them from corruption in the politics. Even the seasoned politician such as Jawaharlal Nehru could not even foresee the political development in Nepal when transferring the power from the Ranas to the Shahs in New Delh in 1951.


The second the most disgusting mistake BP Koirala committed was the statement he made saying his neck was conjoined with the then King Mahendra and then letting the then King Birendra to manipulate the referendum on the selection between the improved Panchayat system and the multi-party democratic system extending another ten years of the fine and corrupt life to the Panchayat system pushing the country back.


Now Shashank Koirala elected to the general secretary of NC and his brother Shekhar Koirala was probably getting to the central committee of NC. They were for trying to follow the footsteps of their father BP Koirala dreaming the fine reign of the monarchy and the Hindu State. For most of the Nepalese, these two things surely would remain as only the daydreams of the Koirala brothers.


Deuba needed to counter the strength of these two Koirala brothers appointing Krishna Prasad Sitaula to another general secretary of NC, and Gagan Thapa to the central committee member, and keep the balance of power in his favor in the party. Probably, Deuba would do so. Sitaula and Thapa had already raised the voice against the rise of the regressive force in the NC. Almost half of the Poudel panel candidates for the central committee members were poised to win the election.


After the victory over Poudel in the election to the president of NC, Deuba had declared that he would form a new government in cooperation with the Madheshi political parties and UCPN-Maoist sending the serious message to the coalition partners of the Oli government. That was a possibility but Deuba would need to meet the demands of the Madheshis and address the concerns of the UCPN-Maoist that most of the top NC politicians including Deuba had been opposing.


A few days later, Deuba changed his mind and he declared that his main concern would be to enforce the constitution rather than tearing down the government and setting up a new government but his party did not lack the colleagues that would put a tremendous pressure on him to claim the power as the majority party in the parliament changing the current government in favor of the NC leaders. Surely, the NC had the majority seats but not the absolute majority to enable its leader to form a now government independently. That was surely a great disadvantage to the opportunist politicians.


Then, Deuba claimed that the current government would fall under its own weight. This was a veiled declaration of his intention to incite the Madheshi to rise up against the current Oli government, and bring down the coalition government, and then form a new government under him. That was a nice dream of Deuba but the question was whether the Madheshi leaders would be the pawns in the political chessboard of Deuba remains to be seen.


Certainly, Deuba knew that the support of the Madheshi leaders were not sufficient for him to be a next prime minister he need the support of UCPN-Maoist as he had hinted at but UCPN-Maoist had a good grip in the current government. So, it might not opt for changing its current strong hold in the governance for the unforeseen future just to make Deuba a prime minister.


And another fact was even if Deuba strongly wanted to get back the prime ministerial hat he had lost in 2005 to the then King Gyanendra it would not be easy to topple Prime Minister KP Oli that had been riding on the divine chariot drawn by his six deputy prime ministers representing six different political parties. So, Prime Minister Oli seemed not to worry about Deuba sending the ripple of signals to replace him in the official residence of prime minister in Baluwatar.


None of the elected prime ministers had been so strong as Oli had been so far. He had the command of the majority in the parliament, as six deputy prime ministers together had more than enough majority to keep Oli going as the prime minister. However, Oli wanted to take in some of the Deuba’s colleagues to his cabinet at least in the public speeches he said so, and add one or more deputy prime ministers from among the Deuba’s colleagues and the Madheshi leaders to make his chariot driven by as many deputy prime ministers as possible for smooth running in the wavy politics of Nepal. So, Oli also had been urging the Madheshi front to join in his government and to the group of the deputy prime ministers to pull the chariot of his governance.


Deuba and the Madheshi front would be wise to join hands with the coalition government of Oli than to join the hands with the Koirala brothers that represented the regressive force. Surely, Koiralas would push Deuba and the Madheshi to take the country backward while the Oli government would be taking the country to forward. Which way Deuba and Madheshi would take remains to be seen?


Every new generation was supposed to be smarter than the previous generation following the nature’s law. However, the Koirala brothers were to break up this law and tried to prove that they were not better than his father BP Koirala. The Koirala brothers had to grab the ministerial positions, yet. They had no opportunity of getting the office of prime minister in the foreseeable future. How they could materialize their dream of resuscitating the dead corpse of the monarchy remains to be seen.


The Koirala brothers must know that the advocate of the Hindu State and the monarchy had been the deputy of Prime Minister Oli and he had been one of the horses pulling the chariot of Prime Minister Oli. Honorable Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa knew that it was better to be one of the horses pulling the chariot of Oli advocating the federalism than holding the corpse of the monarchy hatred and already dead and blackened without recognition on his back, and advocating for the Hindu State.


The monarchy had outlived its life. It would have been dead even in 1951 had the then politicians thought the monarchy was nothing but had decayed better to discard. However, thanks to BP Koirala and his half brother Matrika Koirala the then monarchy got a new life but the highly tradition oriented and not visionary monarchs could not see the people as the sovereign base for them to remain as the powerful monarchs. After the senior Koirala brothers had resuscitated it, one monarch after another crushed the people under the heavy weight of their corrupt administration.


If the current Koirala brothers were try to raise the voices for bringing back the monarchy from the ashes of the monarchy cremated and the ashes flown in the Bagmati River then it would give the great strength to the political leaders of the breakaway Maoists’ parties, the Madheshis and the ethnic people awaiting for the opportunity to strike the current political system and then set up the system of their choice. Nothing more an environment so conducive to rise up the extremists would be than trying to give a life to the absolutely dead monarchy.


I have already said that the Koirala brothers were surely not only less smarter than their father but also they had even been lesser than what their father had been in holding the elected public office. The father had been at least the home minister in the cabinet of the Rana Prime Minister Mohan Shumsher the then King Tribhuvan appointed in 1951, and then the parliament-elected prime minister in 1959. Currently, none of the Koirala brothers had any cabinet position not to mention the prime ministerial position. Certainly, they could be one of the deputies of Prime Minister Oli if they were to like it.


Everybody could easily guess that these Koirala brothers of lesser capacity than of their father hardly could do anything to raise the dead monarchy from the grave. They could talk to the media people endlessly about the monarchy provoking the hatred from the sincere and peace-loving Nepalese common folks. However, they needed to understand that attempting to bring back the dead corpse would need to shed a lot of blood. In the skirmishes if not a war, the Koirala brothers themselves might need to shed some blood. If these Koirala brothers were to turn the pages of the Koirala family history, they would find the then King Mahendra had mercilessly killed Saroj Koirala for engaging in the anti-monarchy activities not to mention a large number of NC cadres in 1960s.


With the rise of the Koirala brothers in the NC, some of the relics of the dead monarchy had raised the voices even in the State-run media. For example, I read with interest the opinion article titled “Rastra Ko Gaurav Nepali Sena” by former brigadier general Dr Premsingh Basnyat published in the ‘gorkhapatra’ of March 7, 2016 probably written and published on the occasion of the Nepal Army day. The article had nothing but the praises for the monarchy dressed in army camouflage.


Dr Premsingh Basnyat had nothing but the glory for the 240 years of the despotic dynastic rule of Shahs and Ranas founded by Prithvi Shah: one of the cruelest person in the history. Dr Basnyat simply ignored the fact that probably, Pandeys and Basnyats as the servants of the then Shah rulers had helped the then rulers steal everything possible from the innocent common folks at the gunpoint. Thus, Dr Basnyat was unknowingly taking the side of the suckers of the blood of the common folks.


The political and intellectual deadwood such as former Chairman of CPN-UML Jhalanath Khanal and Chairman of Nepal Academy Sarubhakta Shrestha celebrated the anniversary of the monster killer Prithvi Shah in the name of the unity day going against the aspiration of the Nepalese for institutionalizing the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal. These wretched politicians and intellectuals had no respects for those martyrs that had shed so much of blood for freeing the common folks from the monarchy.


The Koirala brothers needed to understand that trying to push the country back from the current political system would mean giving the opportunity of rising up to the extremist Maoists such as Biplav and Mohan Vaidya, and Matrika Yadav that had been trying to hold anything they could grab to survive in the political waves occurring so fast in the country.


Deuba had a choice of cooperating with the current government and actively taking part in properly enforcing the constitution for institutionalizing the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal not only benefiting the current government but also the NC in particular and the common folks in general. He would certainly do so in view of his statement: “The objective of NC is to strengthen the democratic republic” quoted in the “gorkhapatra’ of March 13, 2016. Some correct actions of Deuba would lead the NC to emerge as the absolute majority party in the next general elections and certainly in the provincial elections, too. Thus, Deuba would have a good chance of writing his name in the golden letters in the republican history of Nepal unlike that of the Koirala brothers.


Deuba knew the taste of taking office of prime minister. He had been the prime minister thrice. So, he did not need a new chance of being a prime minister. He needed to be a clean and transparent historical figure that would take the special place in the history of Nepal, as did the supreme leader Ganeshman Singh of the people’s movement of 1990. Ganeshman Singh did not take the job of prime minister at that time, and he tried to make the Nepalese politics as corruption less as possible but some corrupt politicians particularly the Koirala brothers did not cooperate with him.


Good deeds would yield good results but never anticipate good results doing the bad things. The bad things in the current Nepalese political context would be not cooperating in implementing the constitution causing political instability and uncertainty. Those people advocating to raise the dead body of the monarchy from the crematorium needed to understand that it would be next to impossible. In doing so, they would risk their heads and necks at getting chopped in public.


March 13, 2016

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