Nepali Congress Central Committee member Gagan Thapa represents voice of the people. The fire brand leader has taken a different take in his party on a number of issues. What is his take on Constituent Assembly’s functioning and TRC debate? And what is he going to do to pressure his party for timely constitution? Mahabir Paudyal and Kosh Raj Koirala caught up with youth icon Wednesday afternoon.
As India started its month-long voting process on April 7, all polls point to a thumping victory for Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party. Some here speculate in Nepal that the rise of a Hindu nationalist force in India could mark a policy shift in India’s Nepal policy. Mahabir Paudyal and Kosh Raj Koirala discussed these issues with former foreign minister and Nepal’s ambassador to India during BJP rule, Dr Bhekh Bahadur Thapa.
What is your observation of the ongoing elections in India?
It looks like BJP under Narendra Modi is gaining a momentum. It’s still too early to say how far this momentum will go. Election continues for nearly two months and it allows the voters to think and rethink whom to vote. Meanwhile, Aam Admi movement has stirred up things. It’s yet to be seen to what extent Aam Admi Party will impact the outcomes. But from Delhi election to now, it looks like it came as a bubble and might burst as a bubble. Regional parties is another factor to impact government formation. Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal, Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu and Mayawati in UP will have the sizable representation at the center if they make good gains. It will allow them to bargain for bigger berths. Besides, the days of one party ruling in India has come to an end for the last 15 years. Considering all this, one can say that there will be a coalition perhaps led by BJP.
Six months after their electoral reverses in CA II polls, three Madheshi parties—Tarai Madhesh Democratic Party, Madheshi People’s Rights Forum-Nepal and Sadbhavana Party—are in the final leg of their unification process to ‘safeguard’ Madheshi interests and push for ‘single autonomous Madhesh province’ and ‘inclusion’, among other agendas, in CA II. Madheshi parties had contested the polls with the same agendas. So what went wrong? How will federalism be settled and how lasting will the proposed unity be? Madheshi intellectual and Associate Professor of Political Science at Tribhuvan University Vijay Kant Karna shared his insights with Mahabir Paudyal.
You had predicted that Madheshi parties and Maoists would secure big wins in Tarai belt. Where did you get it wrong?
Ganga Timsina is the acting general manager of Dairy Development Corporation (DDC). He was appointed to the post only a week ago. Sujan Dhungana of Republica talked with Timsina on issues ranging from Nepal´s dairy industry to DDC´s future plans. Excerpts:
DDC recently hiked milk price. Private dairies also followed DDC´s footsteps. Why was the price hike necessary?
The recent hike was primarily to meet the demand of farmers. Farmers had long been demanding a hike in price of milk, citing reasons like rise in production cost. We raised the price of milk by Rs 6 per liter. Farmers will get 69 percent of the increased amount and DDC will get the remaining. The price hike was necessary also because our production cost has increased due to factors like rise in labor costs, expensive equipment and raw materials, among others.