Left Win in Nepal – Why India Needs to Tread Cautiously


Nepal’s election results have gone in favor of Left Alliance, which has scored a grand victory over the ruling Nepal Congress. Naturally, the next government will be formed by the winning Communist party and former Prime Minister KP Oli is expected to assume the position yet again.

The background
After the end of Monarchy in 2006, Nepal had been witnessing a political instability. This period of uncertainty produced a Constitution, which was adopted after a lot of protests by minority groups like Madhesies and Tharus, who felt that there needs had not been accounted for in this new Constitution.

In this background, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) led by KP Oli, and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist Centre (CPN- MC) led by Prachand, entered into an alliance last October to fight the election. Their allianc paid dividend and together they have scored massive win, relegating the ruling Nepal Congress to third place. Of course, the top place has been occupied by CPN- UML and the second by CPN-MC.

It is expected that Nepal will now have a stable government. This is in the best interest of the people of Nepal as political uncertainties were proving to be a road block for Nepal’s development. Nepal is an underdeveloped country, but one that has enormous potential of development. Even under the Monarch, Nepal was not able to utilise its full growth potential because of the civil war. Maoists had declared a war against monarchy; under the Maoists assault, the King was forced to surrender, thereby giving way to a democratic regime.

India’s stake in Nepal 
India’s relations with the Left-leaders of Nepal have not been ideal, to say the least. Indian relations with KP Oli, as witnessed during Oli’s Prime Minister-ship, were not good. Mr Oli is going to form the government yet again; the past experience may hold significance even today.

Nepal is dependent on India for its trade and also the procurement of many essential goods and services to a great extent. Historically, there has been a cordial relation between the two countries – Both countries have open borders and there is no need of visa for a citizen to visit the other country; a large chunk of Nepali population works in India. Nepal is a buffer land between India and China and many rivers irrigating the northern plane north of Ganges emanate from Nepal. Hence, it is very important for both nations to maintain former ties.

But unfortunately, the ties are not as close knit as they once were. The incidents that followed the promulgation of New Constitution led to deterioration of  the relationship between Nepal and India, wherein Nepal alleged India to have aided protests and consequent instability in Nepal.

Since then, Nepal has been slowly trying to forge closer relations with China, at the cost of losing India. Thus, India has to be very cautious in its approach when dealing with the new government; it needs to keep China from fishing in troubled waters.

-Contributed by Kriti Prasad

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