Kathmandu, July 13 (IANS) After coalition partner CPN (Maoist Centre) withdrew support to the K.P. Sharma Oli-led government, southern neighbour India was once again dragged into Nepal’s political turmoil with Deputy Prime Minister Chitra Bahadur K.C. on Wednesday accusing New Delhi of trying to topple the Prime Minister Oli.
The ruling Left-led alliance was seen as anti-Indian, pro-China and nationalist in political rhetoric.
Political circles and media in Kathmandu were on Wednesday full of speculation that India was behind the pulling down of the nine-month-old Oli government and of brokering the alliance between the democratic Nepali Congress and hardcore Left CPN (Maoist Centre).
Deputy Prime Minister Chitra Bahadur K.C., in an interview to a local online news portal, has lashed out at India.
“In fact, India was upset after we reached a transit deal with China. And they (Indians) found Prachanda (Pushpa Kamal Dahal) as a dummy character to fulfill its interest in Nepal,” he said.
The change in government is taking place as per India’s desire, said veteran Communist leader Narayan Man Bijukchhe.
At a time when Chinese President Xi Jinping is preparing to visit Nepal, India wanted to spoil the visit and has brought the Nepali Congress, the Maoists and Madhesi Morcha together against the Oli government, Bijukchhe alleged.
Prime Minister Oli who assumed office nine months ago had very rocky relations with India, particularly after the five-month-long economic blockade along the Nepal-India border following an agitation by the Madhesis against the new Constitution.
The Nepali online media on Wednesday was full of stories about a meeting between Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae and the agitating Madhesi Morcha leaders on Tuesday in a five-star hotel in the Nepali capital.
Earlier too, in May, India was dragged into Nepal’s internal political affairs after a failed Maoist attempt to bring down the Oli government.
Prime Minister Oli had then cancelled the visit of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari to India and recalled Nepali Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay. The two incidents were in response to what Oli perceived as India’s attempts to topple his government.
During a recent meeting with Nepali Parliamentarians in New Delhi, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj urged them not to drag India into Nepal’s internal matters.
“Prachanda and Sher Bahadur Deuba sit together and make a decision on the issue of government formation but they (leaders) put the blame on us,” she is quoted as telling the visiting parliamentarians from Nepal last week in New Delhi.
(Anil Giri can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)