Prime Minister K.P. Oli’s short visit to the capital broke a crucial health treatment in Singapore and no one is mentioning who foots the bill for this third leg while his previous visit found public mention that government would not foot the bill. Whatever, after all he is the prime minister whoever foots the current bill, the importance of his Kathmandu trip lies in the fact that he seems to have settled his affairs in government and the party allowing his co-chairman to chair party meetings in his absence, leaving his deputy in government in charge of the cabinet and placing Bam Dev Gautam in a party vice chairman’s seat not provided in the party charter. Not surprisingly, the loudest complaint in the new arrangement emerged from former prime minister Madhav Nepal whose place in the party ranks seems to have fallen and much talk outside the meet of the complaints appear to have drawn enough party attention to suggest a public clampdown on goings on in party meets. But this alone is not enough. Oli left with a public warning in parliament and an exclusive all-party meet at Baluwatar where he made sure public attention was drawn to the fact that revivalists we
re gaining grounds. In the background of the fact that this was amidst Oli’s other NCP chairman Pushpa Kamal’s threat to push the monarchy out of Nagarjun to which the former king had been relegated, the flutter in the establishment’s threat perception cannot be dismissed per se as mere political shenanigan.
This is especially so when viewed in the background of this week’s massive public demonstrations in support of Rabi Lamichane who ran an anti-corruption show on TV and who was dragged into a case by a former colleague in his suicide video. The disc mysteriously circulated by another known journalist sourced to unnamed family members, just happened to pin three journalists in a suicide-murder mystery and the police just happened to find convenient a recent law that could rope in suicide confessions as investigative material in which the dying journalist just happened to point his fingers at his former employer. The fact that local agitators were already afoot dismissing the suicide as murder only fuelled material when police dragged in Lamichane for investigation thus rendering the theory that a big time cover up on corruption was underway and Lamichane suddenly turned victim for crowds seemingly self-propelled to emerge against the police and the administration. The public consensus that the system is corrupt is now virtually universal. The turnout displayed that political parties as sole repositories of mass mobilization – broken recently on the streets when crowds forced the government to back down from a proposed Guthi bill—is no longer the rule. The public anger expressed at the manner of government behavior and the non-traceability of a seemingly invisible coordination and leadership gives the political establishment its due for the perception of threat. However the crowd may have effected a sub judice case, and whoever the victims, the turnout of the crowds notwithstanding, Lamichane’s release on bail finally has merely postponed a scheduled public explosion although bail conditions have muzzled his activities somewhat. Politicians, the judiciary, the administration and the media have all been lumped together in the case. These are the prime actors that benefit the current establishment. It is just not the politicians, it seems, that draw their breaths at what more to come.