Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has made a departure from the government at least for the time being, following the defeat in a self-proposed confidence motion, much to the relief of the constitution-abiding people in Nepal.
The government must be prepared for yet another corona-like mutation in the form of floods and landslides soon. The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has predicted more rainfall this year, indicating more deaths and devastation. For this, digging ponds from the Himalayas to the Tarai on 0.5 per cent of the area can do wonders, according to scientific studies
In fact, he should have resigned with grace as soon as his motion of dissolving the Parliament was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. It would have arrested the alarming pace of his flagging image.
There is no dearth of people who discredit him for performing a double role of both Ravan and Duryodhan of the mythic Ramayana and Mahabharata's ironic fame for seeking to hijack the Parliament and for declining to accord what was due to his own rivalling political brothers in his political party respectively.
Oli continued to trample on the constitution many a time. The appointment in the constitutional bodies in the absence of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the leader of opposition on the basis of the hastily passed ordinance is yet another smack of constitutional disregard.
His credibility has hit rock bottom, especially after his interview to CNN, which was marked with sheer lies. He has lost the battle both on the intra and inter party front. He has neither been able to put members of his own party intact nor has he been successful in securing the support of other political parties.
The country has certainly passed the first hurdle successfully even though it was a long drawn affair with the ouster of Oli. But a series of such obstacles exist in the country's forward march.
One of them is the formation of the new government.
It should have been a cake walk in view of all the major parties that had protested against the Prime Minister's unconstitutional move of dissolving the Parliament.
Generally, victorious parties cobble up to form the government in no time. But Nepali parties belong to a different species altogether.
They lack the basic characteristic of a political party.
As a result, one group in the Samajbadi Janata Party, headed by Mahantha Thakur, opted overnight to vote for someone with whom it was at daggers drawn for its unconstitutional act.
It then changed its views like a chameleon, which changes its colour very frequently, firstly, by deciding to stay neutral and finally by allowing its parliamentarians to vote at their discretion without caring that it would have to carry the ignominious label of unconstitutionality by thus tying a knot with Oli.
Though it is very difficult to predict in politics, that too in Nepal, still it looks very probable that a government will be formed from among the parties opposed to Oli's government, culminating in the much-needed all-party government. If it does not happen, Oli may again stage a comeback by virtue of being the leader of the largest party in the Parliament as it is less likely that the UML will change their leader of the Parliamentary Party as is usual in other countries after losing the vote of confidence. Regardless of who forms the new government, it will face a Herculean task of bringing the derailed country back on track.
The new government has to contain the COVID-19 deaths and infections as soon as it gets into the helm of affairs by making a series of decisions. Firstly, it has to save the people who are on the verge of death. This can be done by providing the needed medicines and chiefly oxygen.
For this, the government should not hesitate to hire a cargo plane and bring them from China because India itself is tottering on the top of the corona precipice.
In addition to it, more beds have to be created for the COVID victims in the available party venues and the like.
Secondly, awareness has to be created among the people to wear the mask, maintain physical distance and avoid gatherings. The third is obviously to procure the vaccines through grants or loans as the case may be as this is the only panacea to the present problem.
We have seen how the United States and the United Kingdom have almost conquered the coronavirus by taking resort to vaccines.
The fourth is the preparation of a policy and programme document leading to the formulation of a realistic budget in view of the corona pandemic in the country.
Fifthly, it has to address the needs of the people through either loan or employment, who are in dire economic straits due to the prohibitory orders imposed in the country.
Finally, the government has to be prepared for yet another corona-like mutation in the form of floods and landslides soon in the country.
The Department of Hydrology and Meteorology has predicted more rainfall this year, indicating more deaths and devastation.
For this, a simple technology of digging ponds from the Himalayas to the Tarai on 0.5 per cent of the area can do wonders, according to scientific studies.
It will not only prevent floods, landslides and wildfires but also the ensuing pollution. It can also provide the much-needed employment to the workers inside Nepal and those who have entered recently from India.
It is thus a five-edged sword, which will bring Nepal's foes down to the ground. For this, the entire local government needs to be mobilised.
The government can use the unspent development budget for this purpose, which otherwise will have to be spent anyway for disaster victims eventually.
Indeed, the challenges are like facing a ferocious multi-headed hydra. These are Herculean in dimensions.
But they can certainly be addressed with unity among the parties in the government, planning and insight just like Hercules, who was successful in slaying the nine-headed Hydra of Learna.
The future Prime Minister should ensure political stability till the next general elections.
A version of this article appears in the print on May 14, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.