The country is definitely passing through a critical juncture as the Baburam Bhattarai-led government’s reckless misadventures are taken into consideration. Herein, it needs to be mentioned that the caretaker government has only tried to go for a confrontation with the president by coming up with one ordinance after another, which are neither timely nor crucial to break any deadlock. As for the ordinances related to the Constituent Assembly election, the President had rejected them saying that the sole authority for holding it was the Election Commission which had already made it clear that it could not hold the said elections on November 22 as announced by Prime Minister Bhattarai. Instead of trying to extend his tenure through ordinances, the best move by any standard would be for PM Bhattarai to quit, thereby, setting up the stage for the formation of another government. The next government could be formed under the leadership of any party or even a non-party one, which could be decided upon by the political parties. At the moment, the Maoist-led government seems to be in no mood to go for consensus with the other parties outside the government. The ill-intentions can be well-gleaned through the rather misplaced utterances of the UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal. It may be worthwhile mentioning here that the alliance formed recently by the coalition partners is but a clear hint of the incumbent government clinging on to power, and not working for breaking the political impasse that has a stranglehold at present.
On this score, when the CA election is not possible, the Bhattarai-government is only creating problems. He has to clear the passage as he himself has gone on record to say that he has not been able to live up to the expectations of the people. Moreover, without a parliament, PM Bhattarai cannot opt for a CA election which he tried to force but was unsuccessful. So, moral grounds are what should compel him to resign. Of course, as things are, even after he quits, he would be in office as the head of a de facto caretaker government till another government is formed. This means that then he cannot come up with ordinances on weird grounds. The Bhattarai camp might be making a lot of noise, because their ill-intentions of getting the election related ordinances endorsed by the
President could not succeed. The President has weighed the ground realities as envisaged by the Interim Constitution before making the decision to reject the said ordinances. And, in these times, his
steps must be commended as the ordinances were for an election that cannot be held any time soon till there is a government through the agreement of all the stakeholders.
The coalition partners seem to have thrown all caution to the wind and are acting as if they are the true elected representatives of the people, which they are not. They have to think about the greater interest of the people, which calls for the resignation of PM Bhattarai to pave the way for another government that has the backing of all. Here we have a prime minister who thinks he is right all the time, but, unfortunately, he has taken a severe battering, yet he does not feel the need to call it a day.
To the rescue
The Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) is not adequately equipped to fight fires should they break out. The number of fire engines and fire fighting equipment and fire fighters are woefully small. Thus, the granting by a fire brigade chief of a province in Italy should be welcomed. The Juddha Barun Yantra under the KMC has received some new fire engines including a small one, rescue trucks and some other equipment used by the fire fighters. The small one could come in handy to fight fires in the inner roads of the city, which are too narrow for big fire engines to negotiate.
Still, the number of fire engines and fire fighting equipment and fire fighters should be increased. Considering that particularly in the dry season as many as four fires take place in the Kathmandu valley on an average, there is all the more need to be better-equipped to fight fires. According to experts, there should be at least one fire engine for 50,000 people and a dozen fire fighters. Until the handing over of the fire engines by the Italian fire chief, the capital city had only six fire engines working.