Nepali Times Asian Paints
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Federal express

ASS


Rate we are going, the new federal constitution of Nepal is looking more and more like a mirage. The closer we get to it, the more it recedes. The prolonged coalition-cobbling is reminiscent of mid-1990s. And it's the same old faces.

BijayG being pulled by both arms to switch sides when Upadro refused to toe the line. The only difference with 15 years ago is that this time the entire exercise is outsourced to Lainchaur. And the sight of both GPK and PKD courting Kamal Thapa for royalist support just shows how quickly fortunes turn in politics.

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Still, they say coalition politics brings out the best in a democracy. And sure enough, all the small parties that no one listened to before now have power. They are driving a hard bargain, like Biswesh Chandra Paswan of Dalit Janajati Party is the only rep in the CA from his party but he got a Muslim included in the constitutional committee and for the government to increase reservation for Dalits. And he signed up for the UML-NC coalition only after he was offered minister.

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And even the bigger parties are out to feather their nests. One senior NC leader, when asked by the Ass if he would be joining the Makunay-led govt, said: "You think I'm stupid to join a sarkar that will last three months? I will join the one formed after this."

After a press meet organised at Reporters Club, one MJF CA member was overheard literally begging Jitendra Dev, the ex-UML MJF and now MJF spokesperson to include him in the Gachhedar faction. We know there is horse-trading in politics, but the Ass has never seen it done this blatantly in broad daylight within earshot of us hacks.

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How on earth is Makunay going to accommodate all 22 allied parties in the new cabinet? Will he resurrect Deuba-era 56-member jumbo cabinets? And who gets the plum posts? BijayG is gunning for DPM as a reward for almost breaking his own party. Sujata Didi could have been Defence but given that she and Gen Cutwall are not even on speaking terms may complicate things. We don't want to repeat having a defence minister who hates the army chief. The real scramble is over Local Development and Physcial Planning because that is where the moola is.

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The Baddies are looking for a face-saving way out of the corner they have painted themselves into. Politburo member Kamred Devendra Poudel told Kantipur FM the other day his party would allow parliament to function only if members first passed a declaration against the president's move to save the army chief. Asked what if the CA members voted against such a declaration, he replied (and this qualifies as our Absurdity of the Week): "Then we won't agree and continue the house obstruction."

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Looks like he is so nervous the Baddies are going to pull a fast one that Comrade Makunay at Tinkunay organised a photo shoot just so there are official pictures ready for release. Things can still go wrong and the man doesn't want to take any chances. And who was it spreading the news in media down south that MKN is second generation Indian? The Ass had a perfect headline for that one: 'Nepal is from India'.

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Maoist-controlled casinos in KTM couldn't get away with legally allowing Nepalis to gamble, so they've now opened back doors for locals. There are emergency exits in case there is a police raid and YCL guards. Now we get it, this was why the war was fought: so the revolutionaries could control all contraband trade, corner all contracts and pocket the "PC" (per cent). The YCL in the western tarai is the biggest supplier of Nepali oxen to Bangladesh, and they now control the red sandalwood trafficking to Tibet.

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After CDgate exposed PKDs lies, the Worldly Bank said it may reconsider footing for PLA cantonments (guess what, the lackeys of international imperialists were actually financing the upkeep of our brave revolutionary guerrillas all along). One Maobuddy was overheard saying: "If the bank pulls out, we will just restart extortion." As if it had ever stopped.

ass(at)nepalitimes.com



LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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