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Prachanda: Doldrums

editNewly ensconced prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, is definitely low key as compared to the profile he chose to adopt during his first term. He himself admits to learning from his mistakes. This is wise. But the fact is that ‘realpolitk’ compels him to take this stance. His party, now the Maoist Centre has suffered since the heydays a decade ago when he surfaced in Kathmandu riding the wave of the Maoist ‘people’s war’ fresh from the Delhi agreements aided by the major parties in parliament agitating for the restoration of the duly dissolved parliament. The same personality fissures prevalent in the major parties plague his own and many such personalities have splintered into other parties with the same Maoist tag compelling him to claim the centre. He is aware that, although his is the Maoist party in parliament he no longer holds the monopoly of leadership that helped flip him to Maoist power. Those seeking answers as to why he turned coat against his UML partners in government may find answers in the organizational need for fresh enthusement of credibility, resources and the compulsory international comprehension of the raison de’tre of his very existence. It is another matter that the time limit of his leadership in government, nine months if the eighteen in partnership with the Congress, is already handicapping his strategic search for support although latter day party statements have already begun sounding out the uncertainty of time limits and the hopeful possibility of extensions.
For Prachanda the situation is dire as it already is for the country. The Damocles’ sword of a turnaround by his Congress partners in government falling prey to the temptations of yet another alignment with the UML on the plea of implementing the constitution will forever haunt his predetermined tenure. For this, he will have to continue flirting with his erstwhile partners on the same ruse with the plea of a united front to end the current crisis. And, crises there are many. Growing disenchantment with the manner the establishment has handled the post-earthquake, post ‘unofficial’ Indian embargo situation presses his already hard pressed government. His Congress partners, largest they be in parliament appears to be led by a Sher Bahadur Deuba equally pressed by factionalism restricting his performance. His reaching out to the country’s two immediate neighbors appear to have been responded to by the real demands for trust and reliability handicapped by the very ground rules that Prachanda has set for himself. Prachanda has, in fact, added to the all round sense of skepticism on solutions being bandied by the political establishment ever since the restoration of the multiparty system approaching some three decades now as a reaction to which his Maoist movement was launched in the very first place. Unfortunately, it is not only he who is in doldrums. It is the country.

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