Political Crisis in Nepal and Opportunity for India – UPSC GS2

Political Crisis in Nepal:
  • Oli (CPN(UML)) came to power with the support of Maoist Centre and enjoyed a near-absolute majority in the lower house.
  • In May 2018 they cement their alliance and created the Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
  • However, very soon there were disputes related to the power-sharing arrangement, worked out with Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.
  • Oli got the President to approve dissolution of the House on December 20, paving the way for elections.
  • On March 7, the Supreme Court overturned the UML-Maoist merger of May 2018 and ruled it invalid. This verdict allowed Mr. Oli to be in power.
  • Again, Mr. Oli was sworn in by President Bhandari on May 14 as Prime Minister. Article 76(3) permits the leader of the largest party to be sworn in and give 30 days to demonstrate majority.
  • But the Nepal lower house again stands dissolved after Mr. Oli failed to seek another vote of confidence.
How Domestic politics of Nepal is affecting India-Nepal ties?
  • To distract the happenings in Nepal’s domestic politics, Oli raised the issue of Kalapani dispute with India.
  • India issued new maps following the division of the State of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.
  • Though the new Indian map did not affect the India-Nepal boundary in any material way, Mr. Oli used this opportunity to raise anti-India sentiment among Nepali citizens.
  • He raised the demand for restoring an additional 335 sq. km around Kalapani area.
  • In May 2020, Oli got a new map of Nepal endorsed by the House and adopting a constitutional amendment to sanctify Nepal’s new territory.
  • This has strained India-Nepal relations in the last few months.
India has traditionally supported constitutionalism and multi-party democracy in Nepal. India needs to remain actively engaged with all the political actors, and avoid being perceived as partisan to ensure democratic rule in Nepal.

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