Nepal blesses smaller outfits; Gehlot-Pilot endgame; Economy reined

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Opinion Watch

Nepal blesses smaller outfits

Final result of the counting of votes in Nepal is still awaited, but a clear trend has emerged that the people have blessed smaller parties, showing tiredness for quarrelsome large political outfits, and thus deepening the already fractured political space of the Himalayan nation.

The Hindu in its Editorial has stated that the rise of the Rashtriya Swatantra Party (RSP), led by television star Ravi Lamichhane, has either won or is leading on eight seats. The ruling coalition led by Nepali Congress is ahead with leads on 87 of the 165 seats. The Communist Party of Nepal-led alliance is ahead on 49 seats. Sher Bahadur Deuba is all set to retain power in Kathmandu, and KP Sharma Oli will sit in the Opposition. The Chennai-based daily stated that the RSP is now the third largest party in Nepal on vote share, while noting that the outfits seeks dissolution of the provincial assemblies. The daily argued that the voters have grown tired of the opportunist politics of Maosists and Madhesis in Nepal, besides political instability on their accounts.

TRH view: The rise of new political parties and youngsters is indeed a global trend, as seen in Ukraine, Delhi and Nordic countries. But Nepal has for past two decades have been a backyard of Chinese intelligence sleuths, who worked with the Maoists. The key takeaway of Nepal election is an outright rejection of Chinese interference in Nepal by the proud people of the country after they suffered due to trade blockade by Beijing on the border. Maoists and Madhesis have been too mired in corruption charges to command popular support.

Gehlot-Pilot endgame

Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot after the demise of Ahmed Patel and exit of Ghulam Nabi Azad is arguably the most seasoned politician of Congress, who knows the limits of the power play of the Gandhi family. He has now tested the patience of Gandhis by calling his rival Sachin Pilot a ‘Gaddar (traitor)’.

The Pioneer in its Editorial opined that Congress has failed to bring truce between Gehlot and Pilot, while reminding that the two had been on a warpath since 2020. The daily stated that Congress should have been united, fighting fit and strong, while mentioning that Pilot was seen with Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra during the ‘Bharat Jodo yatra’.

TRH view: Gehlot was the key player who looked after Rahul Gandhi’s cameo appearance in the Gujarat elections. Congress doesn’t resolve any issue; it lets issues become stale or buried from the public memory. That’s why Congress is called a status quoist party. People should get used to Gehlot-Pilot spats. Gehlot owns Congress Rajasthan legislative party, and Pilot has street power with his Gujjar vote base. Both will entertain their audiences.  

Economy reined  

The Reserve bank of India in the first week of December will take a fresh look at the prevailing inflationary situation. Repo rate has already been hiked by 190 basis points, making EMIs dearer and businesses tough. The Indian Express and its southern sibling The New Indian Express have weighed the inflation situation, with former underlining that core inflation, which doesn’t take into account the most volatile fuel and food, remaining still firm, while the latter argued that inflation is having more impact on high income groups than the poor.

TRH view: Inflation in India was indeed imported, but also a gift of the government due to stingy taxation on retail fuels and extremely exploitative GST architecture to fill the government coffers to fund the freebies such as free grains for 80 crore people. It’s not RBI, but Narendra Modi government, which should be held accountable for growth becoming a history in India.  

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