Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” has become the new PM of Nepal this week. He became PM after joining the side with a bitter counterpart, former PM KP Oli.
This will be the third time that Prachanda has become the head of government. He has been a popular name in the politics of the country. He got a chance to be PM thrice in the last 14 years. Before entering politics, he was the head of the Maoist revolt in Nepal.
Until last week, Prachanda was in a pre-election alliance with former PM Deuba. However, the five-party alliance under Sher Bahadur Deuba’s Nepali Congress was the leading party in the elections held last month. It got the largest number of seats. But, Prachanda left the alliance in the end. It was because his demand to be the PM was not accepted by Deuba.
Prachanda and the China Aspect
There is no Chinese ambassador in the country after Hou Yanqi who was a high-profile envoy of China. He played a significant role in creating a Communist alliance in 2018 between Oli and Prachanda. Although it fell in 2021. So, the new Chinese ambassador, Chen Song will soon arrive in Nepal after the government is formed.
Maoist Centre General secretary Barshaman Pun was another person who supported an alliance between them. He is said to have recently come back after two weeks in China. He had reportedly gone here for some medical treatment and has been a vital factor behind the new alliance.
Even President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, who is close to Oli is supporting this new alliance of left forces. Also, reportedly has close contact with Chinese diplomats and other senior officials of China.
The possible impacts of Nepal’s New government on India
For India’s interest, Deuba in office was the ideal case. KP Oli is considered Pro-China leader. At present, the new Communist alliance might not be in India’s interest. The ties between India and Nepal became severe when Oli was in office during 2015-2016 and from 2018-2021. But, Indo-Nepal relations become better when Deuba came into power in 2021.
Despite this, PM Narendra Modi was the first foreign leader to extend his wishes to Prachanda. He was a beneficiary of India’s support since 2005 and in 2016 when he played a role in removing Oli from office.
This means Oli’s role in Prachanda’s government will impact India’s relationship with the country. Some primary concerns for India will be the fate of the West Seti hydropower project initiated under the Deuba government. Interestingly, Oli’s UML was against the decision.