Chaos in 2080 BS: 12 Occurrences

Several prominent figures were imprisoned in significant criminal and corruption cases. Another scandal and smuggling case then came to light.

Kathmandu, 1 Baisakh (2081): The journey of uncertainty in Nepali politics is akin to a roller coaster ride – predicting what will happen is difficult. In the year 2080 BS, Nepali politics witnessed a similar trajectory of ups and downs, along with unexpected events.

Changes in political alliances, changes in provincial governments, and similar events characterised continuity. The newly emerged party, the Rashtriya Swabhiman Party-Nepal (RSP-N), expanded its influence this year as well. Some powerful leaders were imprisoned on serious charges of corruption. Subsequently, more scandals and cases of corruption came to light.

The major political events that occurred this year, as reported in the news, are as follows:

  1. Oli-Prachanda Reunion: The alliance formed on Poush 10, 2079 BS, between the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist Centre) and the Nepal Communist Party (UML), dissolved within two months. On Chaitra 17, 2079, the alliance between the Nepali Congress and the Maoists was formed. However, this alliance broke again on Phagun 21, 2080BS, and the alliance between the Maoists and the UML was re-established.

The top leaders of these two parties, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, reunited.

In the previous year (Poush 10, 2079), besides the alliance formed, except for the Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Janata Samajwadi Party, and Loktantrik Samajwadi Party, other five parties remained in power-sharing. The reason why the Congress-Maoist alliance broke again is not yet publicly disclosed. Various factors might have contributed to this decision.

Several incidents occurred during this period, which are noteworthy:

Firstly, the Congress, agreeing to make Maoist leader Indra Angbo the Chief Minister in Koshi Province, faced opposition from the Nepali Congress. They collaborated with the UML to prevent Angbo from becoming the Chief Minister.

Secondly, during the Mahasamiti meeting held on Falgun 7-10 in Lalitpur, Nepali Congress presented the deputy chairperson Puran Bahadur Khadka and the co-ministers Gagan Thapa’s Political reports.

Thirdly, Prime Minister Prachanda attempted to reshuffle some ministers, citing the government’s lack of progress, which was unwanted by Congress. Despite Prachanda’s plan to bring new faces like Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat into the Cabinet, Congress was not ready, resulting in a halt.

After disagreements with Congress, Prachanda returned on Poush 10, 2079. The Maoist Center, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal, Unified Socialist Party-Nepal, and Janamat Party supported Prachanda. With the support of five parties, Prachanda became Prime Minister for the third time, and a reunion was also achieved between Prachanda and KP Sharma Oli.

Within the 16-month tenure as Prime Minister, Prachanda faced a vote of confidence three times and received comfortable support.

  1. Second Blow to Congress With 89 members in parliament, Congress is the largest party. Based on this, it was expected to lead the government. Therefore, it initiated the formation of its own government in Mangsir in 2079.

However, the Maoists did not agree with the coalition. Chairman Prachanda insisted on being the Prime Minister in the first term. As Congress could not even finalise the party president, the coalition fell apart.

After disagreements on Phagun 15, Congress accepted Prachanda’s leadership and returned to power.

This coalition lasted for a year. On Falgun 21, 2080, the alliance between the Maoists and the UML was re-established. As Congress faced another setback, it became the opposition.

  1. Expansion of Rastriya Swatantra Party’s Influence in By-Elections On Vaishakh 10, 2080, by-elections were held in Tanahun 1, Chitwan 2, and Bara-2. RSP overturned Congress’ stronghold in Tanahun.

In Chitwan-2, RPs President Ravi Lamichhane secured a significant victory, ensuring the safety of the region with a large majority.

During the elections on Asar 7, 2079, RSP managed to challenge Congress-Maoist’s dominance and succeeding in that region.

In Bara-2, Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal’s Chairman Upendra Yadav emerged victorious. RSP’s candidate Ramesh Kharel received fewer votes in that constituency. By the end of the year, Ramesh resigned from RSP.

Yadav appointed his party leader Ram Sahay Prasad Yadav as Vice President and resigned from Bara-2. He succeeded in that Constituency as well.

He lost in Saptari-2 to Chandrakant Raut during the elections in Mangsir 2079. The controversy arose when Yadav was given a ticket for re-election, indicating a wrong practice in politics.

  1. UN General sacratory visit: Visit of United Nations Secretary-General after 15 Years UN Secretary-General António Guterres visited Nepal for four days from Kartik 12. Nepal was visited at the highest level by the UN after 15 years.

At the invitation of Prime Minister Prachanda, he discussed topics such as peace-process and the impact of climate change on Nepal.

On Kartik 14, he addressed both houses of parliament. He suggested solutions to parties to speed up the peace process.

  1. Police Crackdown on Protests, Death of Four Youths This year, four youths lost their lives due to police gunfire during protests.

On Poush 13, youths protested due to the denial of permission to take the Korean language exam for employment in Bal Kumari, Lalitpur.

Amidst the protests, a physical altercation ensued between locals and police, resulting in shots fired by the police. Veerendra Shah and Sujan Raut were killed.

The investigation into this incident concluded that both the minister and the police were responsible.

Similarly, on Poush 20, when protests erupted between the police and protesters in Bara Municipality’s Simraungadh, 32-year-old Jayashankar Sah lost his life.

When protests broke out in front of the municipal office of Bara on Friday, demanding the conversion of Barahathawa Municipality into a regional hospital, clashes ensued between locals and police. When the police tried to control the situation, Sah was shot dead.

Moreover, during a clash between teachers, employees, and police in Simraungadh-1, Bara, a person was killed.

On Mangsir 27, Lakshmi Mukhiya Bin, 25, was killed in a police firing in Bara’s Simraungadh-1 during a clash between the police and protesters.

  1. EX- Gyanendra’s Move

After the establishment of democracy, former King Gyanendra Shah, who had been residing in Nagarjun, arrived at various places this year and received civic receptions. His efforts to engage disillusioned individuals from various political parties are visible. For this, Rastriya Prajatantra Party and some activists have created an atmosphere. Medical professional Durga Prasai even organised a movement. Gyanendra was greeted with applause.

Similarly, Rastriya Prajatantra Party expressed disagreement with the government on issues such as reinstating the monarchy, establishing a Hindu state, federalism, etc., by presenting a 41-point memorandum. RPP’s parliamentarian Jyotindra Shahi congratulated Gyanendra with a slogan.

  1. Top leaders in jail:

After being declared guilty in the fake Bhutanese refugee case, influential leaders from Nepali Congress and CPN-UML have ended up in jail.

Even the former Home Minister, who is also the president of Nepali Congress, Sher Bahadur Deuba’s trusted Bal Krishna Khad, was arrested on Baisakh 27. After spending seven months in jail, Khad was released on bail on Mangsir 28 as per the order of the Patan High Court.

Likewise, in the same case, CPN-UML Secretary Top Bahadur Rayamajhi was arrested on Baisakh 31. He is still in central prison.

Investigation into the fake Bhutanese refugee case is still incomplete.

Former Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa’s son Pratik is still on the run in the fake Bhutanese refugee case. Similarly, Sandeep, son of Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, was arrested in the same case. Although the district court ordered to keep him in custody, the High Court released him on bail of 30 lakhs.

  1. PM Prachanda’s visits:

Prime Minister Prachanda visited several countries. He went to China, Qatar, India, UAE, and Italy.

He stayed in Qatar from Phagun 20 to participate in a development-related conference attended by the Prime Ministers of the countries. He went to India for a four-day visit on Jestha 20, 2080.

He participated in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) headquarters in Rome for the United Nations Food Systems Summit 2023, Staking Momentum, on Saun 6.

The event was scheduled from Saun 8 to 10. He returned home on Saun 12 from there.

He went to participate in the United Nations General Assembly’s 76th session on Bhadra 30 in New York, USA.

After spending 6 days in New York, he directly went to China on Aswin 5. After spending a week in China, Prachanda returned home on Aswin 13.

After that, Prime Minister Prachanda went to UAE on Mansir 13 to participate in the conference of countries related to climate change of the United Nations.

He participated in various discussions organized in the conference in UAE on Mansir 16 and 17.

  1. Gold scam:

The gold scam involving politicians, businessmen, and investors from political parties created a stir throughout the year. It involved high-ranking officials, leaders, as well as their sons and daughters.

Police officers and government employees were also involved in the gold scam. Former Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara was arrested and released in this case.

The committee formed to investigate the gold smuggling case has removed the names of various individuals. However, the investigation is still ongoing.

The Central Investigation Department of the police was assigned to investigate the gold smuggling case.

  1. Lalita Niwas land return:

On Magh 3, 2080, the special court ruled that around 136 ropanis of land associated with Lalita Niwas and its controversies would be confiscated in the name of the Nepali government.

The special court’s verdict, chaired by Justice Khush Prasad Tharu, convicted all the lands seized by the government during the Panchayat era to be registered in the name of the Nepali government.

Along with the special court’s decision, all lands that were under the names of various individuals have been confiscated and returned to the government. The former landlords, bureaucrats, businessmen, and employees involved in illegal decisions related to land during the panchayat, land reform, and ministerial periods were found guilty. Former secretaries Deep Basnyat, Chhaviraj Pant, Damber Shrestha, and Chandradev Joshi and former secretary Dinesh Hari Adhikari were acquitted.

  1. Cooperative fraud, directors flee with billions:

This year, cooperative fraud was seen as another major scandal. Several cooperatives from across the country have fled with billions of rupees by embezzling the savings of the general public.

Gitenbabu Rai, the founder chairman of Pokhara’s Suryadarshan Cooperative, fled after embessling billions of rupees of the general public. He was informed by the police who were stationed in Malaysia. However, the police could not bring him back to Nepal even after issuing a red-corner notice. Similarly, Dev Kumar Nepali, the mayor of Dhorpatan Municipality, Baglung, fled with billions of rupees of the general public. A red notice has been issued against him.

Likewise, Shiv Shikhar Cooperative, Sumeru Cooperative, and Deurali Cooperative have also embessled billions of rupees of the general public. Home Minister Ravi Lamichhane’s name has also been arrosen from the cooperative fraud case.

Former Vice-President Nanda Bahadur Pun’s son Deepesh Pun was arrested in a cooperative embezzlement case. His name was also associated with various controversial incidents.

  1. Leadership change in NA, death of two MPs:

Both the chairman and vice-chairman of the National Assembly have been changed.

Narayan Dahal, a member of the Standing Committee of the Maoist Center, was elected chairman of the National Assembly in the election held on Phagun 29.

Similarly, Vimala Ghimire of the CPN-UML was elected vice-chairperson in the election held on Chait 28.

Moreover, on the night of Ashoj 25, Subash Nemwang, Vice Chairman of the CPN-UML, Chairman of the Constituent Assembly, and elected member of Ilam-2, passed away due to a heart attack.

On Asar 5, the former Minister of Law of Sudurpashchim Province, Prithvi Bahadur Singh, lost his life in a road accident.

By-elections are scheduled to be held in both of these regions on Baisakh 15.

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