Victorious Prachanda today reportedly requested Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala to agree to become the first President of the Republic of Nepal, information that hasn’t been independently verified.
It is believed that when Seto Machhindranath chariot collapses (see inside the box), something disastrous will happen. Disaster usually depends on perspective. This time it seems the disaster will be only for the family of Gyanendra Shah. As Maoists are winning and set to lead the government that is to be formed by the constituent assembly whose first task will be to formally do away with the monarchy, the fall of Seto Machhindranath chariot couldn’t have come at right time.
Of course the rumor is that Maoists had reached a secret agreement with the king to continue with monarchy hoping that they would get third place in the election. The blame, in that case, would have gone to the Congress or UML for keeping the monarchy. Now that it is clear they will be leading the government, it will be almost impossible for them to continue with monarchy at any form.
Meanwhile victorious Prachanda met the Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala today and reportedly requested Koirala to agree to become the President of the Republic of Nepal. This hasn’t been independently verified but isn’t surprising. Prachanda wants international recognition of his government and the best way could be to have Koirala, who led the historic April Revolution of 2006, as the ceremonial Head of State. That would provide legitimacy to the Prachanda-led government than anything else.
We have learned that Koirala didn’t say anything on Prachanda’s proposal though he seemed to be positive about the offer that would help him create history as the first President of Nepal. But some Nepali Congress cadres who became aware of the Maoist plan were already worried because they think are trying to use Nepali Congress as a shield to push their radical agendas.
It remains to be seen how Congress brass, already humiliated by the disastrous defeats, responds to this proposal but if we are to go by what UML has done, things will be different. The CPN UML, whose pre-election arrogance was crushed like sand by the stunning defeats, decided today to pull out of the government. The UML’s challenges are even graver compared to that of NCs. The UML faces possible complete disappearance from the political radar. The must prove that they are different from NC and Maoist.
Anyway, coming back to the fall of chariot, I am eagerly waiting for the first session of the CA and see the monarchy officially abolished. Then there is a long way to go…the restricting of Nepal as a Federal state, writing of the constitution and what not. Interesting days are ahead. By D Wagle
For the record:
Eight injured as Seto Machhindranath chariot collapses
At least 8 persons were injured when Seto Machhindranath chariot collapsed while being pulled to Lagan from Teen Dhara Paathsala in Kathmandu amidst a huge crowd of devotees and ordinary people watching the procession Sunday. Among the injured are three children and the main priest. All of the injured are receiving treatment at the Bir Hospital and are said to be out of danger.
The chariot with 4 huge wooden wheels, about 20 meter high mast and pulled by dozens of men by a rope collapsed after it lost its balance completely while making a difficult turn at the busy Ratnapark area, thundering down at a passing passenger bus. The impact was so powerful that the bus got completely damaged.
The deity of Seto Machhendranath is placed on a chariot and paraded around the city during the Seto Machhendranath festival in March/April month every year. The parade ends at Machhindranath Temple in the south section of the city where the parents of the Seto Machhindranth are believed to be lodged at. (source)