Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s Second Stint
Pushpa Kamal Dahal aka Prachanda once used to be a loathsome person in Nepali politics for leading the decade long civil war. The war had taken life of thousands of Nepali citizen. Now, the same person has finally earned respect from all Nepali people as his second stint as 39th Prime Minister of Nepal undoubtedly turned out to be a productive and progressive one for Nepal. After leading the government of Nepal for the second time (4th August, 2016 – 24th May, 2017), he resigned following the gentleman’s power sharing agreement done with the President of Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba in a healthy condition.
Mr. Dahal’s first tenure which lasted from 18th August, 2008 to 25th May 2009 was considered as an unsuccessful one. He had resigned from his post as his attempt to sack the then army chief, Rookmangud Katawal was opposed by the then President Ram Baran Yadav. But, his return as a PM of Nepal was indeed worthwhile. Unlike the former PM, K.P Oli who kept all of us in dream with some giant missions which were actually unnecessary and impossible at the moment (Read his tenure in a nutshell), Mr. Dahal concentrated in the things that were actually the musts. And that’s how his second tenure became a memorable one for Nepal.
So, let’s quickly go through the list of major happenings during his 9 month-long second tenure:
Loadshedding free Nepal:
The elimination of power cuts in Kathmandu valley and in some major cities of Nepal has been one of the huge achievements of his tenure. His campaign ‘Ujyalo Nepal’ and the change of Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA)’s management team was able to make loadshedding just a history. Not only the internal efforts, but, the increase in electricity imports from India has made it possible. This way, we cannot still be too confident about the end of darkness in Nepal. The imports from India can lessen at any time. So, the only way is to expedite the hydro electricity projects and utilize the full potential of the same.
Local Elections 2074:
Another tremendous thing that happened during his second stint was the Local Elections 2074 after two decades long gap. As per the agreement done before 10 months ago, he was to hold the position till the local elections and Mr. Deuba was to conduct the remaining ones – provincial and central. He has done his job well by conducting the first phase of the local elections on May 14th. We hope the second phase to be conducted on June 14th will also be a success despite his resignation.
Fast track project handed to NA (Nepal Army):
The confusion built around the construction of Fast Track (Kathmandu-Nijgadh 76 km expressway) since long time has been solved now (Read about fast track and initial controversies). The Dahal led government handed down the project to Nepal Army which probably has made all Nepali people absolutely content.
Official agreement over China’s OBOR initiative:
Mr. Dahal led government has officially signed the China’s One Belt One Road Initiative. OBOR is an economic development strategy proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013. It focuses on the connectivity and cooperation between Eurasian Countries. But, I’d suggest not to be excited much about this one as there seems to be arising doubts and financial risks about the same. Also, as India is not likely to participate in this huge project, there’s this big question; can Nepal stand strong with this?
Balanced bilateral relations with India and China:
The strengthening the bilateral ties with neighboring countries was another achievement. The differently timed counterpart’s visit and PM’s own visit to India and China along with the BRICS-BIMSTEC summit was a success. The BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) – BIMSTEC (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka) meet focused on technological and economic cooperation among South Asian countries. The signing of OBOR and decision to handover the 1200 MW Budhigandaki hydro project to a Chinese company were some huge steps towards the cooperation.
The higher growth rate of economic trajectory in this fiscal year has been a significant contribution of his tenure. While the average economic growth rate used to be 4% per year, it went down to 0.01% in the last fiscal year that probably might be because of the border blockade issues. But, this year it is likely to increase to 6.9%. The good monsoon was one of the reasons for this which helped to have better results from the agricultural sector.
The achievements in his tenure also includes the anti-corruption movement which was the impeachment motion against Lok Man Singh Karki, the then chief of CIAA. Moreover, the transparent work progress of Melamchi water supply was also a huge result for us. But, its side effects made the life in Kathmandu valley horrible with demolished roads and dusts all around. However, I am fine with this as the results will be something we have been waiting for years.
Besides all of these achievements, there were some downfall or failed attempts as well. There were few things which were not accomplished or that should have not happened:
“Ncell freed with the tax imposed to TeliaSonera, Withdraw of the cases related to Tikapur incident, IGP scandal, impeachment against Chief Justice of Supreme Court of Nepal, Sushila Karki, not much progress in reconstructing the 2015’s earthquake aftermath, Madesh based parties creating doubts regarding their participation in local polls and many more.”
Nonetheless, the positive results and the events were dominant over the negative things that happened during Mr. Dahal’s tenure.
“Whatever it is, he signed off from his post with respect and pride paving the way for Mr. Deuba breaking the culture of not keeping words in Nepali politics.”
We hope for more better days with the new PM of Nepal (soon to be).