Jul 26, 2012

Nepal: Pending tempest

By N. P. Upadhyaya Nepali
Telegraph Nepal 

Kathmandu: Troubled Nepali politics awaits more trying dilemma in the days ahead. Neither the State exists nor the state sovereignty, this is what is the general mass feeling. The President is just ceremonial who acts only when he gets instructions from above, it is widely rumoured.

Moreover, the campaigners of the Republican order instead of settling down their intra and inner party disputes appear more interested in replacing the “caretaker” government being led by the JNU veteran Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai with the sole objective of being in power once again. The lust for power.

The Nepali Congress though possesses the right to claim, as a matter of fact, the command of the next national unity government, but the party’s inner wrangling doesn’t allow it to nominate the candidate for the next Nepal PM for fear of  inviting a serious confrontation among the host of PM aspirants inside the party. Dr. Shekhar Koirala is one more additional PM aspirant among the crowd.

The NC has, as distinctly visible; three competing aspirants for the PM post, for example, Sushil Koirala, Sher Bahadur Deuba and Ram Chandra Poudel.

The NC’s internal squabble for the PM post has doubled the interest of the UML party which claims that if the Congress can’t nominate its PM candidate then the party should endorse the UML party candidate for the next Nepal PM post. Logic is there.  UML leader Oli is right in New Delhi now. May be trying his luck.

But the NC and the UML forget the fact that unless PM Bhattarai vacates his present Chair, the parties can do little to bring him down to the foot path. Thus the NC and the UML have collectively approached the Nepal President and advised him to manage the ouster of PM Bhattarai by using his special prerogatives. However, no such extra constitutional powers remain under the sleeve of the President whose own legitimacy has come already under questions.

Perhaps it is this Presidential helplessness which has been providing PM Bhattarai to continue in office for long.

And why should Nepal President sack the incumbent PM? What if Bhattarai pounces back on him under this or that pretext?

To boot, PM Bhattarai, July 23, 2012, made a telephone call in the morning and congratulated his former mentor who has now become the 13th President of Indian Republic. But he claimed the other day that he is the President of all. Is he talking of the entire region?

The telephone talk between the two does speak that both were in good terms. So why Pranav Mukherjee should put his extra efforts in replacing the one which could be “used and overly used” in serving the Indian security interests? He is not that fool to change the present day Arabian horse.

As regards the Nepal President, mind it that the new President of India has already tested the political acumen of Dr. Yadav when the former, as a mere minister in Dr. Singh’s cabinet, had threatened Dr. Yadav, May 3, 2009, ordering the latter to reinstate the sacked Nepal Army Chief, Rukmangad Katwal.

This has set a precedence which by extension mean that if the Indian high placed authorities instruct Nepal President to sack Bhattarai then Dr. Yadav will beamingly exceed his constitutional limits and act as per the Indian instructions and perhaps this is the prime reason as to why he is not listening to the combined plea of the NC and the UML plus other meagre parties wherein they have been repeatedly asking the help of Dr. Yadav to get rid of the JNU political creature.

Now let’s talk something more interesting.

Dr. Shekhar Koirala, a NC leader together with Krishna Prasad Sitaula who primarily managed the ouster of King Gyanendra with the tacit support of RAW and the Maoists then residing in New Delhi is back from a weeklong New Delhi trip.

His going to Delhi is no news. But what is news, indeed a juicy one, is his secret meet with Indian Queen, Sonia’s International relations Advisor, Dr. Karan Singh. Singh is a close relative of Nepal’s sidelined King Gyanendra who had stood as a witness at the last minute of the 2006 uprising when a document (presumably) was signed in between the seven party alliance and the King wherein it had been apparently stated that “the King will give a new lease of life to the then dead parliament and that Monarchy in Nepal will continue sine die”.

Dr. Koirala’s meet with Muni and Sita Ram Yechury assumes no significance in that these Indian nationals have already become a foot path commodity who neither can provide wise counsels to Dr. Koirala nor could have a say in the future politics of Nepal. They both could be taken as failed Indians but then yet they damaged Nepal to what they longed for. Yes Dr. Koirala’s meet with the would be King of Kashmir (unfortunately he couldn’t and later reconciled his fate) must have some meaning. It is presumed that Dr. Singh may have reminded the junior Koirala to listen to the now sidelined King’s assertion that the document that had been signed at the last hour of the conclusion of the last movement be honoured.

The Koiralas’ may not agree, arrogant as they are that by sidelining the King, the Maoists have accomplished their primary agenda. The agenda-2 of theirs is definitely to wipe out the parliamentary forces, mainly the Nepali Congress. And look the present day status of the NC. Some even opine that it remains no longer a party.  Others say the party is decaying fast and one fine morning it will cease to exist and this is what the Maoists wish.

The Janjati issue has already plagued the UML.

The Koiralas and the Nepali monarchy were never in good terms in the past yet both needed each other for a variety of compelling reasons.

Matured analysts suggest the NC leaders that if they want to exist as a “democratic party”, as they claim for themselves, must revisit late B. P. Koirala’s reconciliation theory and act accordingly or their political extinction is approaching fast. A mid way theory. 

Late BP though recognised the Nepali monarchy as a feudal and antidemocratic institution but yet also had sensed that the King can be made to follow democratic norms and also felt the need that the Nepali monarchy was a must in Nepal given the instability in this part of the world. The Sikkim annexation made late B.P. to realise the importance of monarchy, matured analysts opine.

The situation apparently is still valid. However, this should not mean that we at this paper champion the case of the return of Monarchy. Whether it returns or remains in oblivion will make no difference neither to this paper nor for those analysts who were with us at this paper. To analyse is our main job.

But what is for sure is that the NC can’t survive as a party if it doesn’t revisit BP’s reconciliation theory.

Yet the interesting part of the whole story has been that Dr. Koirala left for Delhi around the time when Mohan Baidya left for Beijing. Oli remains still in Nepal’s Mecca. Maoists leader Dharmendra Bastola is also in Nai Dilli.

Notably, reports have it that the Chinese have become extra sensitive observing Nepal’s fast political decaying phenomenon. High placed sources claim that wherever Baidya went in Beijing and whomsoever he met, all expressed their anxiety over the continuing Nepali political fluidity and its possible way out.

Moreover, the Chinese enquired from Baidya about the increasing threat to Nepali nationalism and Nepal’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

This does mean that the Chinese have already guessed in advance that Nepal may soon come under the grip of an unprecedented political mayhem which may eventually hit its own security interests to which she perhaps may not tolerate. Chinese sensitivity is for real.

It is widely believed that Baidya will be back in Kathmandu, today, loaded with meaningful assurances from China. Yet another “strong nationalist” team is heading for China, informed sources claim.

But will peace and tranquility prevail in Nepal only with the likely support of China ?

Some matured analysts forcefully claim that both India and China in some way or the other have converged together in providing political stability in Nepal as an unstable Nepal neither will be in the overall interest of China nor of India.

Chinese concern is genuine for some understandable reasons.

No wonder then the Chinese Ambassador to Nepal, Yang Houlan met with the chairman, Sharad Chandra Dhakal, of a meagre political party in the recent days and asked about the likely course of the politics of the nation after the death of the CA body.

What transpired in between the two is not clear yet what we have been informed is that the Chinese envoy forwarded several questions mainly related with ‘ifs and buts’ and Mr. Dhakal answered his each and every question wherein he is supposed to have told the Chinese authority that a roundtable conference including the sidelined King’s participation was a must now or the country is sure to approach a precipice soon.

This event could very much be linked with how and what the Beijing authorities may have talked with Mohan Baidya. How Baidya explained Nepal’s present day situation is any body’s guess.

For the road: Former Indian Ambassador Shyam Saran was here in Kathmandu, July 11, 2012. He was on his way to Bhutan for a seminar and had made Kathmandu a two day transit. He was spotted by some investigative Nepali journalists at Hotel yak and Yeti and out of fear, Saran took the flight to Paro the next day of his being spotted.

During his mysterious trip to Kathmandu, he met with Chairman Prachanda and forced him to be soft towards the Indian regime, to which he complied with, while presenting his 40 page long report presented at the “disturbed” seventh plenum. Apart from this, Saran had a lavish luncheon with Nepal’s veteran politician Amresh Kumar Singh.

In the process, he met with Sushil Koirala and Ram Chandra Poudel. On July 12, 2012, Saran met with Chairman Khanal and Madhav Nepal.

Yet for no fault of Mr. Yub Raj Ghimire, he pounced upon this senior Nepali journalist and made the latter to apologise for what he wrote about his presence in his weekly paper. This speaks of the highhandedness of the Indian diplomats, even retired ones, who wish to tame the Nepali journalists as and when they prefer to do so. Our sympathy to the mentally tortured one.

In sum, Nepal is awaiting a political cyclone sooner than later.

# For further details of Shyam Saran's Nepal secret visit, read the Jana-Ahwan Weekly dated July 13, 2012. It is a front page story.

Courtesy: Telegraphnepal.com

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