Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Nepal PM Oli has kept his sense of humour — and his dreams

In 50 years, he has faced conviction and even completed a life term in jail for killing the 'class enemy' in eastern Nepal during the 70s.

Written by Yubaraj Ghimire |
May 18, 2016 7:16:00 pm
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee with Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. PTI Photo by Atul Yadav(PTI2_20_2016_000254B) Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli at Rashtrapati Bhavan in New Delhi on Saturday. (Source: PTI)

Prime Minister K P Oli has seen the ups and downs of life no other person in Nepal’s contemporary political history.

In 50 years, he has faced conviction and even completed a life term in jail for killing the ‘class enemy’ in eastern Nepal during the 70s.

Upon his release in the 80s, he shunned the politics of violence but in what can only be termed as a ‘Karmik connection’, he was forced him back into the company of the Maoists who believed in the violent removal of class enemies—together they would run a coalition government. Through all of it, Oli retained his sense of humour kept his wits about him , making others laugh and at times provoking strong reaction from the targets of his jibes.

However, as country’s PM for the past eight months, even his most serious and ambitious declarations are seen as a joke and he has had to continuously clarify that these are his dreams and it is possible to realize them.

For instance, last week, as members from the opposition benches in Parliament ridiculed him for having made ‘impossible promises’ such as, “I will have each house connected with gas pipeline ‘ at a time when Nepalese were facing acute shortages following winter blockade, he shot back, “Where does the constitution say I can’t dream?”

And on Tuesday, he surpassed all past promises by declaring that land-locked Nepal will soon have its own ships at sea in the Pacific and Indian Ocean, something that government programmes and policies have never mentioned.

Oli who used to vehemently oppose his party, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) aligning with the Maoists in the past used to mesmerise his followers by making statements such as “We can not carry the Maoists on our shoulders like Mahadeva used to carry Satidevi’s corpse “. Five years down the line, it is difficult to say who is carrying whom as Oli and Maoists are the two biggest constituents in the coalitiongovernment.

Last week, Maoist chief Dahal backtracked at the last moment after he had stuck a deal to oust Oli and step in as successor with the support of the main opposition Nepali Congress, and so the Oli-Dahal bonhomie continues. So does Oli’s way with words: he is on record saying in public that Dahal has mastered the art of ‘putting sugar in every one’s ears’ , a literal translation of Nepali phrase which means, ‘fooling others with sweet talk’.

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