Nepal has drifted into a political crisis following its Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli’s decision to dissolve Parliament. The constitutional validity of Oli’s move has been questioned, and is awaiting decision by the Supreme Court.
Unlike on previous occasions, Oli has refrained from blaming India for destabilising his regime. The PM’s ire has been directed at his senior party colleagues for not allowing him to govern smoothly. The others, in turn, blame Oli for non-governance, corruption, concentration of power, and refusal to honour commitments made on sharing power.
India has played its cards cautiously and craftily. With an assiduously cultivated façade of non-interference, it let China smear itself into the mud of micromanaging the ruling party’s internal conflicts. Anti-Oli forces were quietly cheered to dump him, but when they failed, India subtly extended a helping hand to a desperate Oli struggling for survival.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi positively responded to Oli’s telephonic greetings on India’s Independence Day. A series of important visits from India followed. The Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief, army chief and the foreign secretary visited Nepal on October 22, November 4 and November 23, respectively. These visits were in the midst of Oli’s intra-party strife.
Energy and trade officials from the two countries have met each other, border talks are on board, and Nepal’s foreign minister is visiting India for the joint commission meeting next week.