Prachanda leaves with a legacy of statesmanship and hope for a prosperous Nepal


MAHENDRA SUBEDI, KATHMANDU, May 28: Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on May 24 announced his resignation after serving slightly more than nine months in office, thereby leaving a blueprint for political propriety and exhibiting a level of statesmanship in the country.

The Chairman of the Maoist Centre had reached at the helm of prime ministerial berth at a time when the country was having one of its toughest days. During those days, the blockade by India on Nepal and the ‘Gorkha Earthquake’ had left the country’s economy at its worst, price hike was skyrocketing, ethnic minorities, indigenous communities and Madhes-centric parties were continuously taking to the streets, development works were in a complete halt, foreign relations were guided almost in a cynical manner, anarchy was at its peak in the country and no mechanisms were setup to stabilize the recently promulgated constitution. The leaders in the government were almost like the rabble-rousers. The days were really appalling; almost everything was in a chaotic order.

The NC-Maoist Centre bond for the formation of the Prachanda-led government to pave the way by ending such pessimism seems to have worked remarkably. The Dahal-led government– now a caretaker one–achieved success in constitution’s implementation and to ensure its broader acceptability, conduct the first phase of the local level elections for the first time in the first time in the history in a free, fair and credible manner, maintain balance in our geo-strategic relations and expedite the development works.

Prime Minister Prachanda has won trust of common people to intellectuals and the foreigners also by peacefully conducting the polls. Former lawmaker and Nepali Congress leader Rishi Kesh Tiwari lauded the Dahal-led government terming for working by taking all disgruntled groups into confidence. The government did wonderful job by successfully holding the first phase of local level polls which he termed ‘a foundation stone for democracy’.

The first and foremost thing that Prime Minister Dahal did is he sounded loud and clear in holding the polls. For now, conducting the first phase of the local level polls is a step ahead to institutionalize the federal democratic republic and to ensure the second round of polls by bringing all the agitating parties on board.

Holding local level elections for institutionalizing the federalism is a welcome step, eco-political analyst Achyut Wagle said adding that diplomacy was also put in balance. “The gesture of the Dahal-led government remained positive.”

He, however, expressed reservation for not taking the aspect of separation of power into account adding that the Dahal-led government didn’t do as expected for enhancing institutional capacity of the state. “Neither Financial Commission was formed nor was it replicated in the government’s policies and programmes,” Wagle added.

Likewise, end of load-shedding and other policy-level interventions in the energy sector are historical. The progress in the under-construction projects, including the Tamakoshi Hydropower Project, Chameliya Hydropower Project and others, is encouraging. Now, load-shedding has become a history while assurance of a large chunk of share in hydropower projects for the government employees is a landmark move, perhaps first of its kind in the country. The Dahal-led NC-Maoist coalition government ended load-shedding. It has also heralded something anew in institutionalizing the federalism. “Performance of the government remained better,” Tiwari also a social entrepreneur observed.

The next is prevailing harmonious industrial relations between the industrialists and labourers and no general strike which contributed in industrial outputs as well as boosted up the confidence of the investors. The projected 7.5 per cent economic growth rate for this year and the lowest inflation in the past 12 years are the evidences for this. Also, the government move to resume closed some state-owned industries deserves applauds.

Similarly, rapid progress on the postal highway, Melamchi Drinking Water Project and the post-quake reconstruction bids are the major accomplishment that the nation has got during Dahal’s nine-month-long tenure. By giving responsibility for the construction of the multi-billion project to the Nepal Army, Dahal has also given answer to those questioning his nationality on the issue of Kathmandu-Nijgadh Fast-Track. Caretaker PM Dahal has laid the foundation stone of the fast-track amidst a function in Nijgadh of Bara this morning.

The next point that Dahal would be always remembered is his prompt action for the rescue, relief, rights and repatriation of Nepalis migrant workers working in the Gulf nations. The government also increased the premium of the temporary life insurance by Rs 2 million making it Rs 2.7 million. Serious intervention in the health sector and free treatment for many dreadful diseases remains a progressive step for developing a strong measure for social security.

Besides these some issues, Nepal’s participation in the China-proposed One Road One Belt (OBOR) development and cooperation initiative during the Prachanda-led government is a landmark move for Nepal’s prosperity, international exposure and connectivity. Given these all triumphs, Dahal has left a legacy of hope for a prosperous Nepal.

So, Dahal’s stay in the office since 3rd August, 2016 remained historic and he has made unparallel contributions as a leader for Nepal’s development, prosperity and pride. The former rebel leader too exhibited high political culture and proved himself a towering political personality tantamount to a charismatic statesman at present. RSS