The claim by Prime Minister Babu Ram Bhattarai that there is no way out than for a government led by him to hold the election is indeed audacious. Despite appeals from the opposition that he step down he refuses to, saying that he will stay on till the next election to the Constituent Assembly. In the present political situation of the country, there is no doubt that only a unity government could have the consensus and mandate to hold the election or to find out other political outlets for the country.
Still Prime Minister Bhattarai adamantly refuses to budge even when it is clear that he will not be able to garner support to form a unity government, although he insists that he could. It would be wise on his part if he made way so that a unity government could be formed. Instead we see the Prime Minster carrying about in an increasingly authoritarian manner with the passage of every day. For instance, the people have the right to hold peaceful protests. But the manner in which the security forces handled his departure for and arrival from Rio de Janeiro shows how this right was violated. Peaceful protests were being held, particularly at the premises of the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA). When the protestors tried to show black flags, they were brutally attacked by the security forces and, in the process, several of the protestors were hurt and many others detained. In a democracy everybody enjoys the right to hold peaceful protests, but this government seems to be getting more and more dictatorial as time passes. Ostensibly, the traffic was disrupted for hours while Prime Minister was being shuttled to and fro from the TIA. This is indeed ridiculous and a harbinger of how things will be in the future if Bhattarai remains Prime Minister. The most reasonable thing for Bhattarai to do in the present context is to make way for a unity government that would be in a better position to decide what is best for the country. It would be in his interest not to go only after power and what comes with it. This would only lead to his downfall besides taking the country to turmoil, which we had better avoid. The main hurdle to breaking the present political deadlock is the refusal of Prime Minster Bhattarai to make way for a consensual candidate enjoying the support of the Nepali people. The country is now in an abnormal situation but that does not mean that anything can be done. Whatever is done should be such that they comply with the democratic norms. The country takes pride in being a democracy, and it is in the interest of all to abide by democratic norms. Doing things that only serve the interest of one person is unacceptable. To term demands for Bhattarai’s resignation by the opposition parties as childish does not hold water. Now the country is certainly in a grave situation with the CA dissolved. Bhattarai by his sayings and deeds is only adding fuel to fire. Now is the time for dialogue geared towards evolving a political consensus so a new constitution can be framed by addressing the contentious issues. Bhattarai should realize this and it is high time that better senses prevailed and key political players acted in the interest of the country.
Cases of waterborne diseases are on the rise with the onset of the monsoon. The Sukraraj Tropical Infectious Diseases Hospital reports more patients with waterborne diseases visiting the hospital. The rise in such ailments is said to be due to the consumption of contaminated water and foodstuffs. Doctors recommend following the hygienic way of living to prevent the diseases, most of which can prove to be lethal if proper precautions and treatment are not taken in time. There is danger of contracting these diseases particularly during the monsoon. The government could also work in the endeavor to prevent the diseases. It should monitor the food being sold in the eateries as well as check bottled water to see if they are contaminated to start with. Besides, it should make provisions to ensure that safe drinking water is available. The sewage pipes should be laid at a distance from the drinking water pipes. However, there is room to take heart from the fact that the number of patients with waterborne diseases are fewer compared to last year. Apparently, this is because the people are more aware and careful about their eating habits.