The May 3 midnight 5-point pact by the three major parties together with the United Democratic Madhesi Front paved the way for the formation of a consensual government. It was seen as a sign of the political parties concerned thawing as the deadline for the promulgation of the constitution is at the threshold. That day had been awaited for quite long, and it seemed to be somewhat of a breakthrough. But, what remains a quite run-of-the-mill characteristic of the parties is that no sooner had the deal been inked, one or the other party tried to come up with its own interpretation of the various points. This has been observed all throughout the over four years of traversing in the republican mode. The latest deal too has fallen into the same abyss. The glaring example is, of course, the Maoist Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. What has become a point of disgruntlement is the tight-lipped manner in which a number of ministries were reconstituted. That is not a democratic way of functioning which the prime minister should have considered before taking the hasty
step. There may be reasons for the restructuring
of the ministries concerned, but it should have
been discussed in detail and carefully planned
and executed, instead of the prime minister acting in a dictatorial manner. So, the prime minister is
to be squarely blamed for creating this scene when everything seemed to be going in the right manner to the formation of a unity government.
The restructuring of the ministries is one to which the CPN-UML has strong objection. Moreover, its concerns were on getting the plum ministries by agreeing to the latest deal. With disappointment at not being allotted the ministries desired by it, it came up with a flimsy ground for not joining the unity government. This is merely dragging its feet when UML was one of the parties that had agreed on the 5-point deal. How could it suddenly make a U-turn when one of its own leaders had worked to materialise the deal. It all shows that UML like the UCPN (M) do not respect the deals that they themselves are signatories to. That is how politics and political leaders behave in this country. There is reason to doubt whether the leaders are as wise and pragmatic as they are inclined to exhibit themselves as.
It all boils down to the fact that ad hocism is what is banked on while the parties draft deals, leaving vague or grey areas which would give them the freedom to interpret the points as they like. This has been the fate of all the deals made by the parties. And,
that leaves the credibility of the leaders biting
the dust. Moreover, it should be noted that the formation of a consensus government entails an acceptable allocation of the ministries based on a
give-and-take formula. Herein, it is seen that both PM Bhattarai and the UML have not played by the rules. While the former did not take the other parties into confidence for reconstituting the ministries, the latter backed off because of its pre-conceived notions. Both are to be blamed, and with the May 27 deadline less than three weeks away, all stakeholders should join hands which would amount to agreeing to resolving the contentious constitutional issues so that at least the first draft of the constitution would be ready by the deadline.
Park at your risk
Motorcycle theft is a common occurrence with reports of about four thefts every day in the capital city. These thefts seem to be more lucrative for thieves than burglary. Most of the motorcycles are stolen from the capital and sold in rural areas where it would be difficult to trace them. In order to reduce the incidence of motorbike thefts, police advise being extra vigilant while parking them. The negligence of the bike owners is one of the major reasons why the thieves have an easy time stealing the two wheelers. Thieves can steal bikes in a jiffy if they are parked without due care. Fortunately, the incidence of bike thefts is now on the decline because of the extra vigilance exercised by the police. The police claim this is so because of intelligence gathering and also stepped up search operations. Some of the bike owners are careless about where they park their vehicle ostensibly because they have insured their bikes. They expect that they would be refunded should their bike be stolen. This is no excuse.Since most of the bike thieves operate in groups they need to be broken up.