When it comes to UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, the rules of the game do not matter, neither do the commitments made or the deals he has struck with the other parties. It is clinging on to power with whatever the trick he can innovate. As far as manipulations are concerned, the Maoists have the knack for it. Prachanda too is renowned for backtracking and changing tune at a flick of a second. There was a time when he was found to be settling for Nepali Congress (NC) to lead the next government. Now, he has said that only if NC agreed to ‘identity-based federalism’ would it be fit for NC to head the next government. And his latest statement is that the Maoist-led government is to continue and would in no way relinquish power at the moment. This is the changing colour that the Maoist chairman is so adept at donning at a moment’s notice. Of course, the caretaker government led by Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has failed on all fronts, mainly in bringing a full-fledged budget for this fiscal year because of the lack of all-party consensus, and the Constituent Assembly election announced by him is also a lost case. The reason consensus is not arrived at by the political parties is because the Maoists want that to happen on its terms, which is unacceptable to the others, particularly the NC and CPN-UML.
Even as Prachanda goes along with his favourite change of rants, the political stalemate is seen to continue. He has no suggestion on how the things could turn for the better. The chaos in the political life is what he and his party want to bank on falsely conjuring that they have all the aces. In the meanwhile, PM Bhattarai talks of his mission in peace and constitution, but at times talks of his failure in delivering. On appraisal, it is obvious that since Bhattarai became the chief executive of the state, law and order has made a depressing slide, corruption and misuse and misappropriation of state funds an all time high, shortages and price hikes of essential commodities continue unabated and the like. The government’s presence is nowhere to be seen barring where destruction has to be carried out, like for widening the roads, but the reconstruction part is best left to explain for itself. And the same chant continues that he would leave office once the constitution is drafted or that he is ready to quit if an alternative is presented by the ‘opposition’ parties.
The contribution for thrashing consensus has not been the priority of the UCPN (Maoist) chief nor PM Bhattarai. The talk of flexibility on their part has only been a publicity stunt aimed at misleading the people. Meanwhile, NC and CPN-UML too have not been firm in their dealings and have not been able to neutralise the Maoists’ barrage of contradictory statements. In all this, the Maoist-led caretaker government is growing too big for its boots, and the President too seems to be in a wait-and-watch mental frame to be on the right side of the constitution. However, some drastic action has to come to break the deadlock which can open up the passage for elections to be held and conducted by a non-political government so that the constitution could be drafted as per the people’s aspirations.
The incidence of cholera has reached alarming proportions this year in comparison to the
previous years in Kathmandu. Unless remedial
measures are taken this monsoon, the cases of this waterborne disease could rise and even cause
an outbreak of the disease. As this water is mostly spread by contaminated drinking water, all should be advised to treat the water before drinking it. The health authorities advise boiling the water used for drinking purposes, filtering it and treating it with chlorine before drinking. As a precaution, the
Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Limited (KUKL) has been asked to treat the drinking water with more chlorine in order to purify it.
The capital city is very prone to the outbreak of diseases like cholera and so far this monsoon 15 cases of cholera have been confirmed. Since the sewage and drinking water pipes are placed very close and parallel to each other, the cholera causing bacteria can easily seep into the drinking water pipes. The authorities should make arrangements so that this does not happen by keeping the pipes at a safe distance.