By Our Reporter
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s resignation in the middle of the local election has raised question about the fate of the second phase local election now rescheduled for June 23.
He announced his resignation through a televised speech on last Wednesday when his attempt to announce his resignation from the parliament was foiled by the CPN-UML as it continuously obstructed the House.
He said he had resigned as per the gentleman agreement reached between him and NC President SherBahadurDeuba during the formation of the Dahal-led NC-Maoist-Centre coalition government in August last year.
Of course, the CPN-UML wanted Dahal to continue his office until the second phase of local poll previously scheduled for June 14 as the main opposition party was suspicious about holding the poll under Deuba’s leadership. Even NC leaders like Krishna Sitaula and DrShekharKoirala had argued that Dahal should be allowed to remain in the office till the second phase of local poll is held.
Dahal has managed to hold the first round of the local poll successfully and the main opposition as well as a few NC leaders wanted Dahal to be allowed to hold the second poll.
But Dahal stepped down probably under the pressure from Deuba and India because India had brought the two leaders together to topple the nationalist government under K P Oli’s leadership last year.
Obviously, Dahal’s resignation drew praises for eliminating power cuts from major cities, ending confusion over construction of Kathmandu-Tarai expressway and keeping the economy in a healthy state.
Dahal’s biggest achievement during his almost 10-month tenure was making load-shedding a history in the Kathmandu Valley and major cities across the country.
“When I joined office, power cuts of 18 to 20 hours per day were considered normal. This had destabilised the industrial sector and made people’s lives miserable,” he said in his last address to the nation. “I then launched an ambitious campaign called ‘Ujyalo Nepal’, changed the management team at Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA), effectively conducted on-site inspection of big [hydro] projects and streamlined electricity imports.”
He also boasted about the high economic growth in his speech. Likewise, signing of the OBOR understanding with China and the decision to build the Kathamand-Nijgadh Fast track was mentioned as other achievements during his tenure. Five days after tendering his resignation, Dahal laid the foundation stone of the much-talked-about Fast track in Bara on Sunday morning.
He also answered several questions raised by CPN-UML during his speech.
However, many people suspected that Dahal stepped down at the Indian pressure. Deuba, who had drawn criticism from the NC stalwarts, including Ram Chandra Poudel for the poor performance of the party in the local polls, especially in the urban areas due to his controversial decision to register impeachment motion against the Chief Justice and forge alliance with the Maoist-Centre, would be ready to wait for a month by allowing Dahal to conduct the second phase poll. But Dahal resigned.
The Indian media also hinted that Dahal abided the Indian instruction as they published the news of his resignation with high importance. Some of them even claimed that Dahal followed what the Indian leaders told him.