Dev Prakash Tripathi, KATHMANDU: There has been some degree of silence against Nepal Prime Minister’s move when KP Oli called on the opponents and the criticizing leaders to support him saying only he can take stands against India. Oli’s remark has also kept his opponents flexing muscle for Government change, kept mum so far. It is almost certain that Oli led government would continue in power until the next elections if situation did not go unprecedented.
Till few weeks before the budget was presented in the parliament, the main opposition Nepali Congress was working on throwing out Oli’s Government. But when the budget was tabled, Nepali Congress seems to have kept its move aside and engaged in giving full shape to its Central Committee instead. Even the Unified Maoist Chairman Prachanda who tried to depose KP Oli and attain premiership based on what he said “gentlemen’s agreement”, backtracked his move and allowed the ruling coalition to remain intact. This comes following series of talks with Oli and after he found that most of his party leaders were for the continuation Oli Government for the time being. Prachanda seems to have taken the turn having discovered that Oli will not easily allow a change of guard in the government. However, chances are still rife that Prachanda will once again try to remove Oli from the premiership and become the Prime Minister again riding on the gentlemen’s agreement. It is understood that Prachanda will take the weapon of gentlemen’s agreement when the budget is passed, may be in one month time.
Prachanda will try to replace Oli keeping the current ruling coalition intact as far as possible and if that did not happen easily, Prachanda might break the coalition and become the Prime Minister. Prachanda is reportedly thinking of taking other leaders other than the current Ministers into confidence and change the government guard as the current ones are believed to have been favouring to give continuity to Oli’s government. However of late, there has been strong accord within Maoist Party to replace Oli.
The Maoist Chairman Prachanda is paying a visit to China within this month and the political analysts say Prachanda’s China visit will compel him to withdraw the agenda of Government change, at least for now. The analysts drew up the conclusion saying that China is backing the current coalition and will apply all possible measures to defend the Oli led government. On the other hand, Prachanda thinks that the South is behind Baburam Bhattarai’s separation form the mother party and it is said that the Maoist Chairman is angry with India following the development. Maoist Chairman Prachanda has been remaining on a jolt when Baburam Bhattarai launched a new political party on 12th of June amidst a grand ceremony nine months after he quit the mother party.That’s why it is believed that Prachanda wants increased China role in Nepal. Analysts say China’s role would be effective only if the current coalition remains intact and Prachanda might change his plan of changing the government leadership.
It now also seemed that Nepali Congress has backtracked from making Prachanda the Prime Minister and latter’s Premier zeal has gone down. CPN UML’s intra-party discontent has also not climbed up to the maximum extent of government change. Madhav Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal have hinted of giving continuity to Oli’s Premiership having only criticising the working style of the Prime Minister. Thus the Oli Government is very much likely to persist for long from what is described as support of adversary or the enemy. Oli demonstrated his courage taking risk with India and other apex leaders are thinking that they can not follow Oli’s suit with India. That’s why there is the possibility of increased length of existence of Oli government. But the life of Oli Government hinges on how anti-Oli campaign will move ahead and how the Government will face the move.
What will be India’s approach towards the Oli government who is challenging the southern neighbour with the backing of the Northern one, analysts are keeping a close watch on the possible development. Oli is exercising on bringing India into consensus in line with his stance. In this condition there are limited option to India. India has two main options. The first is to move ahead by strengthening the relation with Oli and the second one is to topple the Oli government by hook or crook. The possibility of finding Oli’s replacement from Parliament can not be ruled out as Nepali Congress and Madhesi Morcha alone can not depose Oli and the ruling colaition can also not be seperated. If tried to depose Oli from outside the Parliament, there should be support from other small parties for Congress and Madhesi Morcha. But till now the situation has not turned into climax and it can not be stated now how the role of Congress and the Madhesi Morcha would be. The possibility of India changing its Nepal Policy is not in sight till this hour and India has so far acted watchfully and cautiously. But India’s watchfulness is not going to last long, political analysts and pundits are doubtful.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is likely to visit Nepal in October. PM Oli is trying his level best to protract the life of the current coalition till Xi Jinping’s visit. Oli believes that the situation would favor and strengthen him following the Chinese President’s visit to Nepal so did the budget presentation almost foiled the conspiracy to topple his government earlier this month. Oli strongly believes that various agreements to be inked with China during Xi’s visit will fortify his position and make him more popular. Oli firmly hopes that no forces will be able to depose him till the next parliamentary elections. But it can not be fully believed that India will be turning a blind eye and remain mum till then.
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