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Lamenting a missed honeymoon

world Updated: May 15, 2011 23:55 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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Six degrees of separation don't connect the new British royal couple and Jhalanath Khanal. But one word joined Prince William and his wife Catherine to Nepal's Prime Minister last week-it was honeymoon.

At the time when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were snorkeling and enjoying vintage champagne and quail eggs in Seychelles as part of their honeymoon, Khanal was complaining of having missed one.

No, I am not alluding to the PM's honeymoon with wife Rabi Laxmi, but to the 100 days after formation of a new government, termed honeymoon period, when the opposition and media allow it to work without criticism.

Khanal's government completed 100 days on Friday and a day later he complained- "Others get to enjoy honeymoon for 100 days, but our government didn't get even a single day or moment for that."

The whining has some basis. Since the day he assumed office Khanal has been facing one criticism after another. Be it from his party colleagues or coalition partner--Maoists.

Those in opposition benches--Nepali Congress and most Madhesi parties--are trying to dislodge Khanal and the media has given him no leeway. But the PM has no one but himself to blame for the mess he is in.

Beginning with his wedding--oops election to the post that was the result of a secret deal between him and Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Khanal has moved from one blunder to another.

Apart from keeping his party in dark about the deal, the 'groom' in his haste for the post agreed to give the contentious home ministry to Maoists in return for them agreeing not to dismantle the military structure.

Allotment of ministries to persons holding multiple passports, accused of being murderer and involved in dubious phone calls and an avoidable trip to Turkey didn't earn him brownie points.

For someone who kept crooning about consensus before coming to power, Khanal didn't consult both to consult all parties before deciding to extend the Constituent Assembly's tenure by another year to draft the new constitution.

"The way the government was performing we had no option but to target it before expiry of the honeymoon period," says senior Congress leader Gopal Man Shrestha.

Those who have bad weddings shouldn't expect good honeymoons.