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Sushil-led Government-44: Nepal: Feeling Heat of Political Hatred

January 2015


Siddhi B Ranjitkar


Currently, Nepal has been a huge fireplace called ‘agya shala’. All political leaders have been willing to slaughter one another only to gain the supremacy. CPN-UML leaders had been ready to pledge the fire god to make any offerings to the deity in order to get the power. NC leaders had not been budging from the power. They were sure to stick to power no matter what political parties would do to the fire god. The opposition parties particularly the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi had been for not repeating the previous mistakes of getting into the snare set up by the NC and CPN-UML. Hindu fanatics were ready to sell their ethics to foreign missioners for getting money for their survival. One thing was clear that the fire god would burn out all those sinners in the past and present governance.


Currently, Nepal had been a huge fireplace that had been built up by all the political leaders. The governing political parties and the opposition parties had been accumulating the ammunition as much as possible to fight at the constituent assembly hall and on the streets. Every one had been ready to ignite it. Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had been holding a lighter. Promulgating a new constitution with the two-thirds majority would be the setting fire at the constituent assembly if the NC and CPN-UML leaders were to dare to do so.


All the characters of different political colors had been dancing to the tunes of their bosses: some were natives others were aliens. The time had been the best for drummers to play hard to keep the political dancers in and around the political fireball burning hotter everyday approaching the deadline for promulgating a new constitution on January 22, 2015.


Probably, Chairman of CPN-UML KP Oli might push PM Koirala to burn down his party and himself. KP Oli had been reminding PM Koirala, “You had pledged to quit the office after a year.” “Yes, I did but only after the promulgation of a new constitution.” “Why don’t you promulgate it then?” “We need a consensus of all political parties.” “You cannot get the agreement of all those political parties.” “I mean the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi.” “They also would not come to the agreement.” “Why not? We could make a few steps back and let them make few steps in.”  “That was not possible. I want you to quit the office, now. As you committed a year ago you needed to step down then, and turn over the power to me.” PM Koirala closed the argument. KP Oli left the prime minister’s residence in rage.


CPN-UML leaders believed that the power had been almost in their hands. KP Oli had been thinking to grab it forcing PM Koirala to keep the commitment he made to quit the office a year ago. KP Oli wanted to keep the commitments of others whereas he never kept it. Believing KP Oli could grab power in Nepal with his back string attached to foreign puppeteers, if Oli were to continue his political maneuver he would ruin his political career no doubt about that but he also would ruin others, too. In the past, too, frequently KP Oli behaved irrationally particularly after he came back from the visit to the neighboring country. He must have a strong link with the foreign power brokers.


KP Oli wanted to promulgate a new constitution on January 22, 2015, no matter at what cost. Understandably, PM Koirala would need to quit the office, and the NC would help the CPN-UML leaders to elect its one leader after another as a prime minister, a president, and a vice president after the promulgation of a new constitution no matter what would happen to the nation. That was what Mr. Oli wanted ignoring the fact that NC leaders were smart enough to rarely keep their commitments, too. Their habits had been to forget the commitments not long after they made.


The most likely political scenario had been PM Koirala would neither promulgate a new constitution nor quit the office. He would set aside the promulgation of a new constitution for some time to come thus not setting fire that might turn into a fireball. Political leaders ready to add fuel to the fire would go back to their respective positions, and watch what next steps the NC and CPN-UML coalition would take.


KP Oli would not go insane for sure not setting fire on the political arena. However, his position would be considerably weakened both in his party and in the coalition government. Both his supporters and opposition would label him as an unsound leader that could not capitalize the good opportunity created by the political environment conducive to the CPN-UML getting into the power. His supporters would blame the NC leaders for not making KP Oli a prime minister. His opposition would say in private at least KP Oli had no ability to get into power. They would give the good example of the capability of Madhav Nepal becoming a prime minister when UCPN-Maoist and Madheshi were in majority in 2009. Then, the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshis had been reduced to minority but poor KP Oli could do nothing for himself and for the party.


The constant fear of PM Koirala hanging on to the power for the rest of life of the constituent assembly would haunt KP Oli. Even though PM Koirala frequently and momentarily went insane he had been smart enough to keep his opponents ambitious enough to replace him with in his party and in the partner party at bay. Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ramchandra Poudel had been the contenders for the party president and the PM position. PM Koirala had been keeping them where they were. God permitting with his fragile health, PM Koirala might continue as a prime minister for some time causing frustration to Deuba and Poudel in his own party and KP Oli in the partner party.


What would be the political strategy of KP Oli in the given political scenario? Certainly, he would rush to his neighboring political gurus for consultations. He could not do much with his own political brain, as it should have been for the leaders of his status. Probably, he would not be able to assimilate the good advices setting aside the wrongs ones. So far, his political behaviors indicated that he took in the most wrong advices leaving the good ones with his mentors.


KP Oli either had no fear of getting the opposition stronger or he did not know that his actions would lead the opposition to gain momentum in its campaign for regaining power. Gyanendra had the same problem in 2000s. Gyanendra thought that he had crushed the NC and CPN-UML under his heavy shoes forever. He took everything in his hands in 2005. The result had been Dr Ram Baran Yadav took his throne. Gyanendra himself went with his grandkids to raise buffaloes elsewhere in the country while the political leaders had been fighting for their shares in power in Kathmandu.


KP Oli did not need to go on raising buffaloes for his livelihood and for the frequent highly costly medical treatment to survive the rest of his life. He did not need to worry about resources but he would need to be concern with how to grab the power. If he were not able to be in power in the next two years at maximum he would have no chance of getting in to the office of prime minister his two colleagues such as Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal had unscrupulously got in. His own cadres would label Oli as the most incompetent leader. So, the challenge to Oli had been to be the politically fit leader in the highly volatile political scenario in which foreign advisors could play a major role.


KP Oli demonstrated one of the worst traits of Jung Bahadur Rana. Jung visited England and France in 1850. When he visited Paris, at the hotel reception counter at the height of anger, Jung hit the man behind the counter with his right hand. Instantly, Jung in return received a hard blow from the man (History Book: Rishikesh Shah). Oli did the same thing to the Madheshi leaders, so did Madheshi leaders, too at the summit meeting of the four major political parties such as NC, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist, and UDMF (United Democratic Madheshi Front) on January 7, 2015. Oli had an excuse. He said, “I was a village-bred man. I spoke bluntly.” No doubt he was rough but too much rough for the leader of the CPN-UML. Those CPN-UML cadres that voted Oli to the Chairman of CPN-UML must have ashamed of what they did.


Chairperson of the constituent assembly Subhas Nemwang turned up as a political fox. He thought that all the political leaders were chicks. He must have thought he could outwit them and eat them alive. It indicated that he was only a legal professional confined in the four walls of an office. Nemwang asked the political leaders to turn over all the political power to him to craft a new constitution. He wanted absolute power annulling all the rules of the constituent assembly for crafting a new constitution. What a courage this political fox had. He was a good-for-nothing chairperson. He could do nothing without the blessing of his political bosses. This time, he must have gathered the courage to trade his position of the chairperson for the solo constitution crafter. Did Mr. Nemwang know what was a constitution? Was it a one-man show? Nothing could be so stupid than asking for such an absolute power.


Setting irrational Oli and the political fox Nemwang aside, Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ramchandra Poudel would like to work with the CPN-UML just to remove PM Koirala but not to touch the coalition structure in other words they would not offer the office of prime minister to the CPN-UML. So, they had been waiting for a favorable political condition for them to remove PM Koirala and then grab the power. They were not wiling to trade the presidential office for the office of prime minister as the CPN-UML leaders had been wiling to do. The current political situation had been the most favorable for the NC, as the president and the prime minister were of its own. So, they had been keeping low profile for the time being.


Deuba and Poudel had not exchange fiery words as Oli did with the opposition (UCPN-Maoist and Madheshis). They had kept the door open to the opposition for a rainy day. Both of them might need the support of the opposition for taking the office of prime minister at any time in the future, as the political climate had been building up, and it might turn up into any political storm that might give them another opportunity of taking the office of prime minister. These two shrewd political guys could set CPN-UML aside and join hands with the UCPN-Maoist and the Madheshi to share the power and the positions in the government. Then, either Deuba or Poudel could be a new prime minister; Prachanda could be a new president if he would like, and one of the Madheshi leaders a new vice-president.


Crafting a new constitution could wait for some time. The constituent assembly was elected for four years. So, at least three-year life of the assembly was there to craft a new constitution. The assembly also worked as a parliament that could easily extend the life of the assembly as long as it might need. The assembly members and political leaders should not be in a hurry to promulgate a new constitution. They needed to take as much time as possible to build a consensus on it before promulgating it. PM Koirala set the deadline of January 22, 2015 for promulgating a new constitution without considering the viability of doing so. Then, it became clear that it was not possible to meet the deadline.


Then, we could continue to watch the drama on the fiery stage of constitution crafting. The recent event had been Mr. Oli wanted to burn up the Madheshi leaders but Oli himself got burned down in the action. Madheshi people had been burning Oli in his effigies across the country opposing his rough statement made against the Madheshi people. Was Oli really deserved to be the leader of the CPN-UML not to mention the leader of the nation? Could he be the future prime minister. We could not say anything about it. This is Nepal; it had been a weird country; anything could happen. Some might say if Jung could be the prime minister why not Oli. That might be true, too.


One thing was clear that Oli had distracted the attention of the political leaders from crafting a new constitution to the scandalous event. Madheshi leaders had committed that they would not sit with Oli to talk until he would apologize for his crazy comment on the Madheshi leaders. Oli could wait as long as he would need to apologize for saying, “Hell with your demand for Madhes Pradesh (unofficial translation)” and he could stall the talks on building a consensus on a new constitution. Oli held a trump card on holding any future talks on a new constitution. At the same time, tired leaders could have some retreats and recuperation for holding fresh talks in the future.


Mr. Nemwang could snore at the assembly session while the political leaders became the cold war warriors. In fact, he looked like sleeping with opened eyes as fishes do in water. His duty had been to give time to the members for speaking, and listening to them whether he liked it or not. It did not matter for him what the members spoke about. He got paid hundreds of thousands of rupees per month for doing that. He could have earn only several times less than that working at the stuffy and cramped law office he had set up before being the speaker of the reinstated parliament in 2006, and a new parliament set up by the dying parliament in 2007, and then the chairman of the first constituent assembly, and then the current chairman of the assembly doing good-for-nothing duty. The cold war would continue until Oli would apologize if the Madheshis were to keep their commitment not to speak to Oli until he would apologize for his ethically unacceptable comments on the Madheshis.


Thus, the term of office of PM Koirala was incidentally extended.  Oli was in a hurry to be the next prime minister. He wanted to cut short the way to promulgating a new constitution but in the process he abruptly cut the path itself unintentionally giving a break to the process of discussion on crafting a new constitution. Even if PM Koirala wanted to quit the office he could not do so, as the possibility of promulgating a new constitution in the near future was not conceivable. Thanks to Oli, PM Koirala would stay on in the office for some time to come. His dear ones could continue to enjoy the juicy power positions. Other political leaders would simply feel the heat of the fire of hatred among the political leaders Oli ignited.


Kamal Thapa: another Oli-styled so-called leader must have been sleeping after a long and arduous east-west journey on his famous Hindu chariot that kicked up clouds of dust in the secular air than anything else. He might be woke up to launch another campaign for Hinduism no other leaders had been talking about except for the political leaders as downtrodden as himself. For Mr. Thapa kicking up dust had been as good as picking up thousands of one-thousand-rupee bills floated in the air by the Hindu chauvinists. Some other leaders had already started emulating Mr. Thapa not to be short of cash supply for their political survival. The cash-rich next-door Hindu chauvinists would not mind to throw a few hundred million rupees in the air for the campaign of a Hindu state in the secular Nepal, as they could not do so in their own country. This would keep out of job Nepalese politicians busy for some time.


Mr. Thapa was ready to launch a religious war against anybody that did not declare Nepal a Hindu state. It might be his pretext to remain buoyant in the Nepalese politics. His other political stand had been gradually faded away. His Hindu campaign would continue as long as the four-digit-cash bills were blown from the southern wind to the Nepal Himalayas, and Mr. Thapa would be able to pick them up for giving foods to his starving cadres. Most of the Hindu fanatics could do nothing in the Hindu majority country but they had been using Mr. Thapa and other deadwood politicians as the tools to keep their Hindu advocacy alive in Nepal. It also had strengthened the nexus between the corrupt and criminal politicians and Hindu fanatics.


January 8, 2015

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