Glad to read that yesterday, Nepal has chosen Mr. Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli as the first Prime Minister of Republic of Nepal. Going through his life story, one realises he was educated in Politics on the Street, in the Jail and through the Bureaucractic roles. Academically he is a drop out of Secondary School. So having come this far, he has to be an achiever not a fancy facade of builders of castles in the air.
It is a challenging job but a practical leader like him ought to meet the challenges. He stands for the dignity of Nepal and her sovereign Republic status. The former Prime Minister Koirala who had actually made a Gentleman agreement to back the nomination of Mr. Oli for the Prime Minister Post had switched his face and challenged Mr. Oli for the post and lost.
Maybe Koirala of Nepal Congress Party a kind of Indian protege thought he had a chance with Indian arm twisting influence. He must have banked on the stinging economic blockade by India to have cowered the Nepalese Parliamentarians to vote for a pro India Party. Thankfully the Nepalese politicians are made of sterner national fabric. They voted to stand by national sovereignty of Nepal.
Koirala will always be a thorn to the national interests of Nepal. The consolation is that he is old and his turn coat style politics that drives his personal ambitions could be shattered by ill health.
Nepal has been economically strangled thrice by India. The first was when King Mahendra of Nepal chucked out the Indian Military from Nepal. India had her soldiers even manning Out Posts at the borders of China and Nepal. That was terminated by Nepal King and so the first Indian economic blockade took place that year of 1969.
The second blockade was in 1989 when Nepal King Birendra armed his Army with Chinese weapons. The third economic blockade this time happened because India does not agree with the new Secular Republic Constitution of Nepal.
I suppose India will have to realise that driving Nepal up against the Himalayan Mountains is not really in the ultimate interests of India. Nepal is already suffering but as in the past Nepal knows that India will have to relent. This is the historical reason why Nepal has officially not yet made public appeal for Chinese help in easing the economic blockade.
Instead Nepal has called global tender for supply of crucially needed fuel supplies. As I had earlier said if fuel has to be air freighted then Bangladesh is the shortest route for Nepal. But if India denies over flight right of fuel air transport from Bangladesh then only China can make the supplies.
I suspect India will refrain from brinkmanship politics with Nepal now that their favoured Prime Ministerial candidate Koirala is out and it is the new Prime Minister Oli that India has to deal with. India will have to end the economic blockade because the alternate would be disastrous for India and even America who have partnered with India to contain China.
America has been hoping that Nepal hardliners would given in to the Indian economic blockade. In fact America has been advising her citizens from visiting Nepal knowing very well that Nepal needs tourists. It is another kind of economic blockade but the tactic failed to prevent Mr. Oli coming to power. So now both Modi and Obama has to rethink strong arm tactics. They need Nepal and Bhutan for their geo political strategic roles.
India Nepal border blockade cannot last too long without dramatic political fallouts in Nepal or dramatic upsets in the Sino- India- America political equation. This is a dangerous period for all small neighbours of India.