South Asia and Beyond

‘India Needs A New Policy Paradigm For Nepal’

NEW DELHI: Against the backdrop of political turmoil in Nepal, a former Indian ambassador to Kathmandu has offered a grim prognosis of India’s eastern neighbour. Ranjit Rae, in an exclusive conversation with StratNews Global’s Parul Chandra, noted that Prime Minister Oli had dissolved Parliament simply because he had lost support within his own party and needed to save his prime ministership.

Although the dissolution has been challenged in Nepal’s Supreme Court, the former diplomat questioned Oli’s conduct while noting that the Nepalese Constitution has stringent norms in place before such a step can be taken. He also described as controversial the PM’s decision to announce election dates, saying it should’ve been done by the Election Commission. He also wondered why elections couldn’t be held earlier.

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Prolonged political instability in Nepal, he fears, will make Nepal vulnerable to forces inimical to it as well as India. He’s also worried about China’s increasing and very visible interference in Nepal’s domestic politics and particularly within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). His advice to Indian policymakers dealing with Nepal—factor this in policy-making and come up with a new paradigm to deal with it.

Parul Chandra

Professional newshound, have navigated through typewriters, computers and mobile phones during my over three-decade-long career working in some of India's finest newsrooms (The Times of India, Financial Express). Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Bhutan are my focus, also Sri Lanka (when boss permits). Age and arthritis (that's a joke) have not dimmed the thrill of chasing a story. Loves music, animals and pasta.