New Prime Minister of Nepal Elected

IAS Prelims 2023

Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli was elected as the new Prime Minister of Nepal, defeating his only rival and incumbent Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. Parliament Speaker Subhash Nembang declared KP Sharma Oli elected as Prime Minister as he secured 338 votes against 249 by Koirala at the end of the counting of ballots.

Koirala was elected as the PM in 2014 and resigned recently after the promulgation of a new constitution of the country. Nepal is currently going through a state of turmoil with Madhesi community along with other ethnic groups protesting against the newly formed constitution, demanding better representation.

Oli, a Naxalite who was arrested in 1972, and tried and convicted in sedition charge, was backed by the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists and the pro-monarchy Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal.

He becomes the Nepals’s first Prime Minister under the newly introduced constitutional system. He is considered to be a member of a ‘high caste’ regularly accused of monopolising power. Born in the hills in eastern Nepal on February 22, 1952, Oli was educated in the plains of Jhapa in eastern Nepal.

In 1970, Oli became a member of the Nepal Communist Party and began an underground life, as the erstwhile royal regime cracked down on communists. Oli spent 14 years in jail during autocratic monarchy for his involvement with radical communist politics.

He won elections to parliament in 1991, 1999, 2008 and 2013. He served as home minister in 1994 and foreign minister in 2007. In February 2014, his party elected him chairman.

The Nepali Congress led by Koirala, which is the largest party in the House, will be sitting in the opposition.

latest current affairsREACTION OF INDIA

Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi spoke to K.P. Sharma Oli after he got elected as Prime Minister. PM Modi said that “Shri K.P. Sharma Oli has been elected in democratic and orderly elections, and conveyed his hearty congratulations. He looks forward to working closely with Shri Oli.”

Prime Minister Modi expressed the hope and expectation that Shri Oli will carry all sections of the society along, so that there is peace and stability in the country. “We are confident that the Government of Nepal will address the remaining political issues confronting the country in a spirit of dialogue and reconciliation.”

“PM Modi conveyed that we have always stood for peace, prosperity and progress of Nepal, which is also in India’s interest. India will continue to extend all assistance, in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Nepal, for peace, stability and socio-economic development of the country.”

It has been learnt that Oli drew Modi’s attention towards the current crisis in Nepal due to blockade from India and requested him to make arrangement for easing the supplies of essentials. In response, Modi assured of removing all kinds of difficulties in Nepal.

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RECENT IRRITANTS

India is Nepal’s powerful neighbour but is the only country that did not wholeheartedly welcomed its new constitution after protests by ethnic communities living in the plains bordering India.

The protesters have blocked the main border crossings into Nepal from India, choking off a key supply route through which the landlocked country gets much of its requirements, including fuel.

Nepal has accused India of both fanning the protests and imposing the blockade. India has strongly denied this, saying truckers are refusing to cross the border because of the security situation on the other side.

OLI’s EARLIER REACTIONS

Oli has been critical of India’s intervention in the formation of Nepali constitution and their support to Madhesi community. Oli contested the election amid accusation from his allies that India was out in the open to ‘defeat’ Oli.

KP Sharma Oli, earlier accused India of deliberately blocking vital supplies into the landlocked Nepal. India has denied being behind the blockade and urged dialogue with the protesters to end the stand-off.

Mr. Oli’s accusations against India is representative of a rapid decline in relations between the two nations.

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ANALYSIS

Its now the time that the Indian establishment starts viewing Nepal as a sovereign country. To do that, India’s foreign policy makers must accept the factors that divide India and Nepal. The biggest distancing factor is the Nepalese consciousness of being a small, landlocked country set against a large neighbor.

Also, the successive governments in Nepal have used China as a symbol to counter Indian hegemony. It is also a fact that India continues to play Big Brother role in Nepal and giving Neplese leaders a feeling that only India knows what their best interests are. Nepal should be treated like any other neighbour of India. Let the Nepal elected leaders deal with the problems of the country. Also there is no need to give any extraordinary concessions to Nepal unless asked or requested by it.

The Indian establishment must not react to the strong anti-India reactions as it has received from Nepal leaders in recent times. India-Nepal relations should, however, be gradually redefined by India to safeguard its interests. The Nepal’s leaders must also realise that a new Nepal also needs to deal with a new India.