Farcical amnesia

The Rastriya Prajatantra Party’s (RPP’s) proposal to tell the government that the constituents of the ruling coalition must share a common agenda is an indirect admission by the Party about the unilateralism prevailing in the alliance. It is a farcical suggestion given the fact that the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) the four parties in the Nepali Congress (Democratic)-brokered government had publicly agreed to abide by. The people had long figured this out and, as a matter of fact, wondered why components of a single power-structure had divergent views on various subjects, including peace and polls. Ministers have expressed opinions at the drop of the hat, often to recant or deny them after belated realisation though that the consequences of what they had said were far-reaching. Anybody and everybody airs opinions that in saner polity are expressed by appointed individuals or by the prime minister himself. Moreover, most of the rhetoric expressed from lecterns all over the country are myopic, superficial, impulsive and far below the threshold deemed necessary of high offices the majority of the speakers hold. The drought of vision, ideas and lack of sincerity among the ruling elite has rarely been so conspicuous.

Weeks after a ruckus was raised by several of the CPN-UML Central Working Committee members about the Party’s insignificant say in the government, here comes the beleaguered RPP, after its founding member Surya Bahadur Thapa walked out in a huff, wanting to redraw lines written on the day the CMP was signed. The fact that the CMP has lied almost unnoticed for the past seven months, stoking the common agenda for the sake of it will have little or no significance. It is only reconfirmation of a characteristic symptom what the public diagnosed months ago: The four parties cannot get their act together. It is for those at the helm to figure out why such divergence exists in the alliance, but the inability of the government to decipher, decide and act accordingly on a number of issues reflects poorly on almost all aspects of the Deuba-led government. But above all, the RPP’s latest proposal is a problem of farcical amnesia that has beset the country’s political structure, bureaucracy, academia and policy corridors, among others. It makes little sense to remind the parties about an agreement on whose basis the power structure was brokered. While the elusive peace talks the parties agreed to work for have yet to materialise, the picture is now gradually shifting towards polls. Whether peace talks are in the pipeline or if free and fair polls could actually be conducted are different issues. But the profile of a government that says it will achieve one or both of those tasks is that of a disparate and disorganised lot.