The ruling parties seem to come up with one ploy after another to stay on in power, despite the fact that it is merely a caretaker government. The Maoist-led government has been hanging onto power in that capacity since the automatic dissolution of the Constituent Assembly (CA) on May 27. If the ruling parties are rallying to form an alliance of ‘federalist forces’ with a genuine tinge that is to make it all-inclusive then it may be a good endeavour. But, as things are, there are reasons to be suspicious of the whole affair as the Nepali Congress (NC) and the CPN-UML, two of the major mainstream political parties, had not been invited to any of the meetings that came up with the pro-federal alliance. This could be seen as the coalition partners are out to put the anti-federalist tag on NC and UML and to sideline them. The slow build-up of the conspiracy is quite evident particularly with the UCPN (Maoist) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal saying that the two parties in question ought to accept identity-based federalism, which the NC and UML feel can lead to further problems and complications in the future.
Furthermore, the NC and UML feel that the ploy of the alliance is but to prolong the ruling parties’ stay in power. There is a grain of truth in what they think about the alliance, as they are not in it. The latest meeting of the proposed alliance saw the decision to appeal to all federalists, republicans and those who believe in inclusiveness and also NC and UML to join the alliance. In fact, the Maoists in particular seem to feel that the NC and UML ought to be at their beck and call, instead of according them the respect that is due to them in the overall scheme of things. In the alliance, besides the coalition partners, the rest are fringe parties, and two of the major political forces are missing, which is a deliberate attempt to malign them in front of the electorate. It is also a reflection of the fact that the Maoists are adept at playing their cards, and putting the others namely NC and UML on the defensive. The sudden emergence of this alliance too can be analysed in this light. Though it is stated that the alliance will have key role to forge consensus for drafting the constitution, it seems doubtful that the formation has come to achieve what had not happened prior to the end of the CA tenure.
If the ruling parties were to be sincere, there could be a point. But, their working smacks of high-handedness with the Maoists leading the line. The UCPN (M) leads the show, especially with chairman Dahal who cannot be relied on as he has the knack to go back on promises, however serious it may be. In all this, the Maoist attempt is to make the NC and UML the scapegoats for not dancing to their tunes. Dahal’s teaser was for them to agree to the identity-based federalism. It is building a sort of false case against the two parties. And, the self-centred acts of the ruling parties do not augur well for the nation. Hence, with the precedents that abound, the formation of the alliance of the ‘federalist forces’ as declared by the ruling parties would not be what they have spelt it out to be.
The anti-narcotic drive may be doing something to check the entry, distribution and sales of narcotics in the capital, but the action falls short. This may be because of the highly sophisticated network of the drug traffickers or the shortage of manpower with the law enforcement agencies, particularly the Narcotic Drug Control Law Enforcement Unit. The efforts to stem the flow of narcotic drugs into the country may be encouraging but the innovative ways of the drug dealers are at times hard nuts to crack for the law enforcement officials. The revelation that the smuggling of prescription drugs continues unabated is adding another twist to the story. A narcotic drug smuggler if nabbed with the contraband will have a stiffer punishment awarded than one indulging in prescription drugs.
Prescription drugs are meant for specific needs of the patients. However, what is being seen is that such drugs are smuggled to meet the needs of the addicts and other users, which is quite illegal. Now, the police ought to be on high alert to stop the menace.