THE PRIME MINISTER Race in Mess

The race for the prime minister’s chair got messier with every new round<BR>&nbsp;<br>SAROJ DAHAL

Aug. 20, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.:4 No.-06 August 20- September 02,2010(Bhadra-04,2067)

He was one of the Deputies with arguably closest links and contact with the Indian embassy at Lainchaur. 

 
The association dated back to years. The man would himself boast of the “achievement”

 
But the Madhesi-turned Maoist Ram Kumar Sharma got the shock of his life when, according to him, he received death threat from a consular in the Lainchaur mission.


 
He was also allegedly threatened with expulsion of his daughter from the Indian school in Kathmandu.


 
The embassy trashed the allegations and refused to even deny it lest it would “dignify” the allegations.


 
Though unsubstantiated, yet, there are more takers of the allegation than those who do not buy it.



The former joint general secretary of the regional Terai Madhesh Loktantrik Party was apparently targeted for trying to lure his former colleagues into voting for the Maoist candidate for the prime minister ship – Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’



He was overseeing the horse-trading of the MPs with fellow comrades,  Pampha Bhusal,  Shakti Bahadur Basnet and Haribol Gajurel, getting into action at a rented hotel room,  less than a kilometer from the CA premises.


Eleven MPs of a Madhesi outfit obliged and crossed the floors in the third round of the voting, while others could have followed in the next round had it not been for a hastily-arranged dinner between the top leaders of the Madhesi parties and the visiting envoy of the Indian prime minister, Shyam Saran.

 
The incident brings to light – one more time – the volatility of Nepali politics as the “sovereign” constituent assembly repeatedly fails to elect a new prime minister.

 
The threat to Sharma demonstrates the desperation of influential external powers to get something done – or undone.

Equally importantly, it exposes the “revolutionary” character of the erstwhile rebels.

 
The mainstream parties, treenail Congress and the UML, had done it before. The dirty game was in full view during the hung parliament in the mid-Nineties.

 
Few thought the ‘different’ and the untested Maoists would tread the same path.

 
Needing 60-odd extra votes to regain the Singh Durbar chair, Prachanda went out of the way. Not just in terms of buying votes. But in terms of wooing the monarchists as well.

 
The firebrand harbinger of republic Nepal met the likes of Tulsi Giri, Marich Man Singh Shrestha and son-in-law of the ex-king Gyanendra to drum up the royalist support for “a nationalistic cause” which he promised would be served only if he ascended to power again.

According to the parliamentary party leader of the 4-member royalist Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Chandra Bahadur Gurung, Prachanda even offered to restore “cultural” monarchy in return of support to his PM’s candidacy.

 


Gurung’s claims have not been denied yet.
Not those other parties would not compromise their principles and values for the sake of power.

But unlike the Nepali Congress and the UML, the Maoists are better placed to take a shot at the power.

 
The former rebels have a number that exceed the combined strength of the NC and the UML.

 
With the UML backing out of the race for  a majority government, the NC is left in the fray. But without the UML support the NC can not hope to get its way no matter how low it stoops to gain the power.

 
Understandably, the Maoists were in a position to play every game – fair or foul. They played it too. In vain, though, as of writing this.

 

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