Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The farce continues..

Another short comment on the ongoing happenings in Nepal.

Prolonging the farce that the current regime in Nepal is; prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal (who lost two Constituent Assembly constituencies, no less and was nominated to the CA) recently elevated foreign minister and Nepali Congress leader, Sujata Koirala to the post of deputy prime minister - the second person to occupy the post besides Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) leader Bijay Gacchadar. Koirala's only claim for her current status was the fact that she was being propped up to the post by senior NC leader and father Girija Prasad Koirala. Sujatha Koirala also managed to emulate and even worsen her superior Madhav Nepal's (of the Communist Party of Nepal - Unified Marxist Leninist - UML) performance in the CA elections by losing the elections in her own constituency (Koirala finished a poor third behind MJF and UML candidates in the CA constituency of Sunsari, while Madhav Nepal finished second in both Kathmandu-2 and Rautahat losing to UCPN(Maoist) candidates).

With this dubious elevation, Madhav Nepal has added further disgrace to an already sketchy arrangement - which clearly suggests a reactionary gang up against the legitimate winners of the CA elections - the Nepali Maoists. The elevation was done despite vehement disapproval from Koirala's own partymen - the NC leader senior leadership. Monarchy is said to have been abolished in Nepal, but non-representative dynastic politics is still quite a presence as Koirala's elevation points out. The elevation also means that the reactionary take-over of power in Nepal is now formally complete - Nepali President Ram Baran Yadav (who was never a republican and got his post due to his loyalty towards GP Koirala and also because of NC-MJF machinations), CA losers Madhav Nepal and Sujata Koirala, and a symbol of "corruption and opportunism"- deputy PM Bijay Gachchedar, in key posts of power.

The breaking down of the erstwhile "Constitutional Monarchy" system and the entry of the Maoists within the democratic fray (out of the peoples' war) meant a reorientation of the popular class based support to the various political parties in the country. The support to the monarchy and other anti-democratic sections has obviously accrued to the Nepali Congress (to the detriment of such parties as the Rashtriya Prajantra Party and its offshoots), while also shifting toward the Madhesi parties to some extent (owed to the deterrent value offered by the MJF toward the Maoist plan of structural economic changes in the Terai). This is reminiscent of the shift of royalist and princely sections gradually toward the Congress following independence in India (as well as toward the Jan Sangh and later the Bharatiya Janata Party). The reactionary actions by the Nepali Congress over the period of time following the CA elections pretty much conform to the patterns of change of support base.

Opportunistic moves such as Sujata Koirala's elevation, in the near parliamentary past had discredited the UML leadership of Madhav Nepal and that apparently resulted in his shock defeat (as well as his party's poor third position in the CA polls). Surely these maneuvers in Nepal with a reactionary bloc seizing power were not what the people intended when they voted in the CA polls for change. There has to be a greater mass mobilisation by progressive forces in Nepal to pressurise CA members to end this farce that has been set up in the name of government.

Cross posted at

No comments: