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Prachanda's plans for 'new' Nepal

Girija Prasad Koirala?s Nepali Congress is yet to get the supports of its ?red? partners on the issue, reports Anirban Roy.

india Updated: Dec 03, 2006 21:02 IST

Nobel peace prize

After the signing of the historic Comprehensive Peace Agreement, a strong campaign to nominate Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal (nom de plume Prachanda) for the Nobel Peace Prize has hit Nepal.

One section - mostly the educated elite - claims Koirala has created global history by bringing the Maoist guerrillas into the political mainstream, and should be the strongest contender for the highest honour.

But the second group argues that Prachanda should be the stronger contender for showing the world that it takes only a decade to completely transform a country’s rigid political framework from a monarchy to a true representative democracy.

Obviously, the violence-riddenhistory of Prachanda’s decade-old movement - which caused the deaths of nearly 13,000 people - cannot be entirely forgotten.

Still, it is believed that the competition between the two and the campaign for their nomination is likely to gain momentum during the run up to the next Nobel Prize’s announcement. The best way out would probably be to nominate them together.

‘New’ Nepal’s wish list

Soon after Maoist chief Prachanda declared his intention to build a "new" and "progressive" Nepal, people of the Himalayan Nation have started penning a long list of their expectations from the new government.

As the roads in Kathmandu are narrow and congested, and traffic jams are now a regular phenomenon, people are dreaming of immediate, but expensive solutions to the problem.

So far motorbikes and scooters have been regularly using the pavements along the road to beat the congestion, as the country did not have the resources, to broaden the city roads.

"We should plan couple of flyovers in Kathmandu," one of the visionaries, dreaming of a ‘new’ Nepal, said. Others suggest immediately starting work on an underground metro link throughout the capital city, like the one inDelhi since the population of 10 lakhs is bound to keep increasing. But where is the money to come form? Euphoric with the arrival of peace and democracy in Nepal, can the Nepalis, now, dream of a new and modern Nepal?

New Economic map

Leaders of the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) have now started burning the mid-night oil to design a new economic policy which will enable Nepal’s GDP grow at a quicker pace.

Yet with the Maoists and Marxist-Leninists in the alliance, economists and planners are more than a little confused about what kind of economic vision they should formulate - should it be a socialist prescription, or a progressive capitalist one?

Bimalendra Nidhi, a senior member of Nepali Congress (Democratic) feels the new economic prescription of the country should be a contemporary fusion of socialism and capitalism.

However, Girija Prasad Koirala’s Nepali Congress, which is the largest partner in the ruling coalition, is yet to get the supports of its ‘red’ partners on the issue.

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First Published: Dec 03, 2006 21:02 IST