Monday, June 14, 2010

Be Of Good Cheer, Little Guy!

Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) chief Pashupati Shamsher Rana asserts the nation’s smaller parties would be forced to take a “harsh” decision if the Big Three persisted with their waywardness. Since Rana did not shed any light on scale of severity they might be contemplating, Maila Baje was forced to scratch his head.
Rana’s threat came after Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) withdrew its support from Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal’s government. So it was tempting to probe a link. But, then, NWPP chief Narayan Man Bijukchhe clarified that his party’s decision did not mean he had sought the resignation of the prime minister. And that was before he claimed that a new government would be formed in a week. (So does that mean Nepal is going to lead the new government, too?)
With this feverishly spinning head, one was forced to turn to Nepal’s oldest hand on such matters, Rana’s one-time boss and current party colleague, Surya Bahadur Thapa. The former prime minister stated the whole imbroglio stemmed from the rise of extreme leftist forces. As one of our earliest Maoists, Bijukchhe would thus fall into Thapa’s exclusionary zone. So you have to veer toward the prospect that the ex-panchas may be up to something on their own.
Are they about to withdraw the votes they cast two years ago in favor of declaring Nepal a republic? Honestly speaking, when Lokendra Bahadur Chand ended up voting with the majority, it became infinitely harder to view the moment with a complete sense of finality. The ex-panchas never said their vote was not conditional, say, on the constituent assembly’s being able to write a constitution within its stipulated schedule.
Even if they were to take back their votes, the ex-panchas would hardly make a dent in that resounding verdict. Thapa rubbishes such talk. Instead, he believes a new force would emerge from any vacuum. It’s hard to fathom that. But, then, who thought K.P. Oli, who was not a member of the assembly, would emerge to oversee a gentleman’s agreement with the Maoists on extending the assembly’s tenure in exchange for Premier Nepal’s resignation. (Let’s not even consider how the Maoists took his word based on a three-point undertaking neither Oli nor Nepal cared to sign.)
Yet that agreement seems to go to the heart of the matter. Therefore, Rana hastened to accuse the big three parties of forcibly extending the assembly despite the fact that his own organization was complicit in the act. At least RPP-Nepal’s Kamal Thapa, considering the way his party voted, can assert with credibility that the elected members have turned themselves into self-appointed custodians of the nation.
We don’t know whether Rana and Surya Bahadur Thapa will ever be on the same page. Stung by the past, their party is still in a drawn-out process of unification, which makes consistency an even more elusive commodity. In their dissonance, they might have just provided the divided Nepali Congress a chance to stroke its neck and revisit that first vote in the constituent assembly.