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New alliance, difficult road ahead for Prachanda



Kathmandu, March 6: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has again chose a difficult and challenging path this time as well. He has broken an alliance with the Nepali Congress. It was all surprising to many, including the Nepali Congress leaders. Prachanda himself was very much enthusiastic and optimistic with the new alliance.

While addressing a meeting in Kathmandu, he openly challenged to leaders of political parties and termed himself as ‘unpredictable’ in many ways. He said that he could take any decisions to safeguard the party’s vision, mission and policies. However, he failed to garner good opinions from leaders even from the breakaway Maoist leaders. They cautioned Prachanda not to choose a path that dismantles the entire people’s war and it’s outcomes.

Prachanda vs Oli

Both leaders, Prachanda and CPN UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, have been trying to undermine each other in many fronts. KP Oli tried hard to lure rank and files of Maoist Centre into CPN UML. Many leaders and cadres, including ex-Maoist combatants have joined CPN UML in recent years. Prachanda could not succeed to return them back to his own party. Prachanda could not build new leadership in the party, and could not increase the vote bank. In other words, Prachanda have been damaging his own personality in the eyes of Nepali people. He has lost his charismatic face before the general public, including in his party. Second rank leaders like Janardan Sharma have begun to challenge his policies as well.

In such a position, Prachanda have been trying for new opportunity to remain in power. After he felt unsecure in Congress-led coalition, he chose to form another alliance with KP Sharma Oli. Everybody knows, it would be more difficult to tackle Oli. It’s not so comfortable to further expansion his party’s vision, mission and programs. He will certainly remain in political custody. As expected, Prachanda will fall into trap and surrender before the public as meaningless.

Eight-point agreement

The ruling coalition leaders have reached and signed an eight-point agreement.  The agreement has stated to form a new coalition, remain firm on federal system of governance, safeguard the constitution, complete the peace process including ratify the pending transitional justice bill from the parliament, among others. However,  a contentious power sharing issue has not been mentioned. According to reports, Prachanda and Oli will lead the government two years each. Insiders believe that they can deceive each other any time, because Prachanda will try his best to be the prime minister for five years.

Coalition and ministries

The leaders of new coalition has decided to allocate seats and ministries. Prachanda and Oli have been trying to include more parties in the present coalition except Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP).  The new cabinet members have already sworn in before the President. The cabinet members include:

Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Prime Minister (Maoist Centre)

Maoist Centre

  1. Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister

2. Barshaman Pun, Minister for Finance

3. Shakti Basnet, Minister for Energy

4. Rekha Sharma, Minister for Communication and Information Technology

5. Hit Bahadur Tamang, Minister for Culture, Civil Aviation and Tourism

CPN UML

  1. Raghu Bir Mahaseth, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Physical Planning

2. Padam Giri, Minister for Law, Justice

3. Hari Upreti, Minister for Defense

4. Bhagawati Chaudhary, Minister for Women

5. Rajendra Rai, Minister for Water Supply

6. Damodar Bhandari, Minister for Industry

7. Jwala Kumari Shah, Minister for Agriculture

8. Balaram Adhikari, Minister for Land Reforms

Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP)

  1. Rabi Lamichhane, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs

2. DP Aryal, Minister for Labour

3. Sumana Shrestha, Minister for Education

4. Biraj Bhakta Shrestha, Minister for Youth and Sports

CPN (Unified Socialist)

  1. Bhanubhakta Joshi, Minister for Federal Affairs and Civil Administration
  2. Dhan Bahadur Budha, Minister for Housing

However, Upendra Yadav-led Janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) couldn’t join the government. Chairman Yadav have been demanding to assurance of not changing the Madhes Province government.

The political pundits believe that the present government may terminate and fall any time. Nepali Congress has already decided to begin people-centric activities across the country. However, they can initiate new efforts to unseat Prachanda if his activities hurt KP Oli or Nepali Congress.


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