Nepal's Political Turmoil Puts India On Guard

06/04/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

The resignation of Nepal's Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda on Monday leaves the country on the brink of political turmoil and, consequently, is worrying neighboring India that there will be a spillover effect that will only add to the inundation of regional strife that is afflicting its borders, TNN reports:

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh acknowledged that the unfolding crisis in Nepal had added to the country's concerns about troubles in the neighbourhood. "Today, there is lack of peace and stability in our neighbouring nations, be it Nepal, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. It (the developments) can also affect security situation in our country," he said.

Moreover, as the TNN report notes, the Indian government's chances of being dragged into the affair were only increased further by Prachanda himself, when he suggested that India had meddled in Nepal's affairs to spur his ouster.

Within the Indian political sphere, the conservative Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party reacted gleefully to Prachanda's resignation but also warned of the ramifications Nepal's situation could have on India. According to Samay Live:

Expressing delight over the resignation of Nepal PM Prachanda, the Bharatiya Janata Party today said that the Government will have to keep an eye on developments in Nepal as Maoists will not allow progress of the democratic process easily in the neighboring country.

Also according to Samay Live, in another report, the Indian government has acted on its concerns by deploying its para-military force to the international border to stand vigil against any infiltration. From Samay Live:

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), which guards the highly-porous 1,751- km Indo-Nepal border, has been sensitised to keep extra vigil to prevent movement of unwanted elements along the border by taking advantage of the fluid political situation there.

Prachanda stepped down from his prime ministerial post Monday in protest to "unconstitutional and undemocratic" action by Nepal's president, opposition leader Ram Baran Yadav, who reversed Prachanda's firing of the Nepali army chief, General Rookmangud Katawal, the AFP reports. Prachanda was trying to lead an interim government overseeing the drafting of a post-royal constitution, but his Maoist party lacked sufficient seats to form a cabinet, according to AFP. The army chief is said to represent the old school elitism and royal rule, hence the contentiousness of his attempted sacking and subsequent reinstatement.


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