Nepali Times Asian Paints
KP and GP

In all our collective careers as observers of Nepali politics, we have not seen anything quite like it: a majority party, with everything going for it is bent on committing political hara-kiri. With brains gone into hibernation, senior leaders of the Nepali Congress are to busy fighting each other to be bothered that talks with the Maoists are off, that the country's tourism industry is teetering on the edge threatened by a two-day bandh and a hotel workers' strike. The ruling party has become its own worst enemy. With enemies like that the opposition lefties needn't bother with their nation-wide shutdowns. If you feel a bit confused about exactly what these common sense-challenged clowns in the Congress are haggling about, don't worry, so are we. Whatever it is, it certainly isn't about the country's most-pressing problems.

In fact, instead of trying to get the Maoists to agree to more informal talks maybe our master mediator Padma Ratna Tuladhar should get KP and GP to sit down and hammer out a truce! In the end, there is only one conclusion: the Nepali Congress may be the most senile political party in the country, but the mental age of its leaders hasn't progressed beyond single digits. And that is an insult to the children of this country. If this doddering duo can't pull in their stooges, can't they at least agree to disagree and go their separate ways? Their quarrel is not confined to the leadership of the party machinery anymore, it is damaging the nation's body politic. Do we have to suffer the agony of tolerating a ruling party that is incapable of governing its own divided house, let alone a fractious country?

We're getting pretty sick of writing editorials about this, but the tragedy is that the fighting is not about issues, but as usual about personalities. Those from the KP Camp can't stand the smell of Koiralas, who, we must admit, do give off a whiff. Well, with the company of sidekicks Bhattarai keeps around him these days-Khum Bahadur Khadka, Bijay Gachhedar, Sharad Singh Bhandari-the odour is pretty overpowering at Bhaisepati, too. Let us remember that barely a year or so ago, all the stars of the Bhattarai camp were die-hard Koirala loyalists and they were hauling manure for him. These so-called Young Turks from both sides all have lean and hungry looks and they're all up to their necks in the stuff. Which doesn't give us much hope for the second-generation of leaders once the two septuagenarians are out of the picture. But at least younger leaders have sharper claws and deadly fangs, and after the dust has settled a clear victor will emerge.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)