The show of power and bargain in current political scenario.
As the government is struggling to maintain peace in the society (by effectively controlling lootings and general crime in the city), Maoists are hours away from demonstrating their power for the first in the history of this country. Well, they showed their power in the past 10 years but this time around they will be doing the same without arms. At least without displaying them. Kathmanduits are anxiously waiting for the Maoist Mass Meeting in the capital city that, it is widely expected, will see a crowd of more than two hundred thousands. (Some have even claimed about 5 hundred thousands but I don’t want to guess about the number as we will see that pretty much soon.)
However, I am sure that Maoists have understood the collective power of the people and they will be demonstrating that power right under the nose of their biggest enemy and the symbol of feudalism: the palace and the elites of Kathmandu. Even the traffic office has issued directives to drivers about the change in route around the downtown Kathmandu keeping in mind the possible crowd in and around Khula Manch. Yes, yes, there is Bhoto Jatra as well and the king is expected to appear publicly for the first time after people stripped him off the power last in April. But the question that many people are asking is: Will Prachanda appear in the mass meeting? Maoists haven’t talked about his possible arrival though they haven’t ruled out the possibility as well.
Talking about the ‘numerous’ incidents of lootings and petty crimes in the city, one can only wonder if there is an organized force behind it. Home Minister spoke publicly about the inability and incompetence of the police force. He thinks that the police are not doing their best to combat the crime in the city. Many believe that some regressive elements want to show that the new government is incapable of running the administration.
The phase of transition, though it appears terribly slow, is interesting. Knowing that people are supreme, both the Seven Party Alliance and the Maoists are trying to sell their agendas to the public. They want people to support them on the procedural difference with the other side on reaching up to the election of constituent assembly. “There is no difference of opinion on holding the election of CA,” says Krishna Bahadur Mahara who is leading the Maoist talks team. “We will be talking about the procedure and technicalities in the next round of talks.” Maoists definitely want to influence the upcoming rounds of talks with tomorrow’s turnout.
SPA leaders, on the other hand, are trying hard to tell people why the parliament shouldn’t be dissolved before the election of the constituent assembly. They are also talking that the All Side Conference proposed by the Maoists will be less representative than that of the current House of Representative. On this point, Nepali Congress and CPN UML, the largest two parties in the alliance, have the same voice. Interestingly, Nepali Congress is against the idea of reviving the local bodies that were dissolved in 2002 while UML is for that. Here, Congress and Maoist have come to one side. Congress is pushing the idea of having all parties represented in the local bodies and Maoists are supportive of this.
The recent resolution of the parliament on women rights and provision in the current constitution are contradicting with each other. Some are talking about bringing out the new constitution but the SPA seems to be uninterested for that. As an observer who wants to see things move ahead in fast pace, I am annoyed by the slow speed. If we can’t hold the CA election this year, palace will play something foul and regressive elements will have chance to raise their heads.