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Machhapuchre Bank

Agitation Mode

End of winter and, clearly, the political season is on. Campus elections being scheduled is but one facet. The two student juggernauts habitually are at each other’s throats around this time. This time, both the Nepali Congress affiliated Nepal Bidyarthi Sngh and the Left affiliate ‘Akhil’ have begun by using their muscles on their own. Their respective parties are shaking themselves with the failure of integrating separate parties into one top down and the student union and leadership is part of their mobile team, muscle and spearhead traditionally. If this is the Left, the more radicalized ‘Akhil Krantikari whose affiliated presence have begun their bombing spree once more make speculative politics far more conspiratorial. Add to this the fact that the ‘democrats’ have launched street fights among themselves with the police having to separate the two groups makes Congress politics no less complicated. A sudden turn around favoring a ‘Hindu state’ has launched an earnest move as to who is to lead it and the leader, Deuba is caught between a resurgent Koirala section a perpetually waiting Paudel section and now clearly distinct Sitaula section and the inkling is that the student union quarrel has to do with owning sections previously vague but now out in the open since Deuba does face the music of loss of face in the polls. As for the dominant Left which should have been all comfy in its two thirds parliamentary majority and an opposition in disarray, K.P. Oli’s premiership is shaking more still. Forget the seemingly perpetual charges of corruption and non performance, Oli himself must keep his health in check amidst challenges from with the UML section and then compete with the Maoist section chief for dominance of the party unification in the organizational structures. Madhav Nepal, Jhalanath Khanal and Bam Dev have been competing names for a long time but now even Iswor Pokhrel is a name coming up resulting in what is termed a K.P. Oli minority. At Prachanda’s end, Badal his home minister along with Narayan Kazi are enough aspiring personalities to juggle with. With Oli pressing from top and the other Maoists from the bottom, Pushpa Kamal’s sandwich can only be buttered in his favor by playing with Oli’s challengers in the former UML and juggling within has section aspirants.
There is more though. By now, Oli must be smelling a rat on the streets. The two thirds in parliament My be cushy of course, but the realization by his opponents that parliamentary numbers do not restrict the streets is doubly dangerous. The Congress is whipping up its ‘democracy under threat’ weapon and this can be done easily because parliament and much more belongs to the communists. Plus there is this overall demand for change that is being fuelled all over. If and when Congress leadership issue decides as to who is to lead on the streets, they will find willing partners elsewhere. The citizenship question is likely to be ruse enough for theTerai to stir and the growing consensus among the intelligentsia that the monarchy can no longer be ignored will see various sections of the RPP concluding that, if their leadership tussles cannot be settled favoring a single party, their workers at least will force them to meet on the streets with set slogans. More than parliament, it appears, the chess board has once again become the streets and the pawns are gradually being positioned. As should have been, it is the monarchists that are edging at the bits and their leaders can no longer rein them in. The coming weeks are likely to see many an independent agitator taking street corners. When time comes, multiplying numbers will see the leaders attempting not to be left behind.

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