• Friday 21st February 2020

Troubled Waters

  • Published on: November 27, 2019

  • There is meaning in Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba’s abrupt allegation accusing Prime Minister K.P. Oli of instigating the publication of the Indian map that has amalgamated Nepali territory into its borders. Although mellowed somewhat by later explanations by his party-men, the government’s ham-handed approach to capitalize electorally from the streets by using the occasion and its inept handling of this situation so far is perhaps exacerbating the issue dangerously to Deuba’s chagrin. Nevertheless Deuba’s public exclamation doesn’t improve upon the situation where national unity is needed to deal with India. The politicization of Nepal-India relations hardly bodes well for talks and they reflect a brinkmanship in Nepali politics already enmeshed in a situation that borders the unreal. Oli is soon scheduled for a major renal operation for which a climate for his departure abroad is being prepared. He has just reshuffled his cabinet in a manner that has ruffled more feathers in his arty. He has, more over, transferred his party under the executive chairmanship of Prachanda. In so many ways, therefore, he is tempting his party rival to take that leap for control that he aspires for although agreement is that Oli is to retain his head of government tenure to the full. A safe bet is that this cabinet change insures that Oli-chorines will maneuver through any such machinations. It will, however exacerbate the already tense situation.
    The political climes will be diverted, of course, until the mid-term polls conclude next week. However, the streets remain boiling with one or the other agitation. It is suggested that the streets will see a major surg3e after the polls and the current sporadic stirs are mere preparation. As expected, the Tarai movement has already seen a show of strength in Kathmandu from none less than former separatist C.K. Raut. This is as the Tarai parties in parliament remain squabbling over those that remain in government and it is expected that those who remain may not do so for long. Also potent is the agitation in the medical sector which threatens to engulf the academic scene although the predominance in student unions of the government parties seem struggling to keep the lid on. Nevertheless, the agitations expected are likely to take a non-partisan shape and the government will find this difficult to contain since the all-pervasive nature of the widespread public disenchantment include party cadre as well. Indeed, opinion is that the situation is so explosive that a broader civil movement will emerge on the streets and a paralyzed government party at the top may not be able to cope. Surprisingly this is being initiated if not furthered by government itself. Here lies the mystery. Looks like muddying the waters is the standard exercise in politics these days.


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