Republican Structure As Desired By People

Uttam Maharjan

 

The country has already conducted two phases of the local elections with the third phase scheduled for September 18 in Province 2. The election in the province should also have already been held had the government not postponed it just to please the Madhesi parties. But interestingly, the Madhesi parties did not feel happy; they were of the view that the election in the province should not have been put off.
Although the RastriyaJanata Party-Nepal (RJP-N) did not take part in the two phases of the local elections under the excuse that the amendment bill had not been passed, it has decided to take part in the third phase of the local election as well in the upcoming provincial and central elections slated for November 26. In the past, the party would blame almost everything on the non-endorsement of the amendment bill and insisted doggedly on the bill being endorsed in their favour under any circumstances.
The situation has now changed. The amendment bill was put to the vote recently. Although the bill met with a fiasco failing to garner a required two-thirds majority, the RJP-N accepted the results, thus showing a democratic attitude for the first time. In fact, the party as well as the coalition government was well aware that the bill would not get endorsed so easily; still, it was put through the voting process. As per the promise made by it before the voting, the RJP-N has declared that it will take part in all the upcoming elections. For this, it has made all the required preparations. It will go into hustings soon for the upcoming local election in province 2.
However, Prime Minister SherBahadurDeuba, during his recent visit to India, dropped a clanger by telling, as if apologetically, his Indian counterpart NarendraModi that the amendment bill could not be passed; the bill would be put to the vote again whenever it was certain that there would be a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
The country has wasted much time in institutionalising the federal setup. As a result, the transition period has been reigning supreme for years. The transition period should not be allowed to run for such long years; however, there has been inordinate delay in institutionalising the federal dispensation due to the ineptitude of leaders, inter-party-and even intra-party- clashes, indifference towards ending the transition period at the earliest and such other unfavourable factors.
However, there are shafts of hope shimmering on the horizon. With the conclusion of the election in province 2, all the local polls will be completed. And the political parties will concentrate on the November 26 provincial and federal elections. The Madhesi parties, especially the RJP-N, tried to disrupt the local polls but they miserably failed in their goal as even the Madhesi people for whom they purportedly boycotted the elections took part in the elections with fanfare. The leaders of the RJP-N have now cottoned on to the fact that all want the elections and boycotting the elections will boomerang upon themselves. That is why, the RJP-N has decided to come back to mainstream politics.
All these developments have ensured that the federal setup will be institutionalised after the elections to the provincial and federal assemblies. After the country goes federal, the structure of governance will undergo a sea change. There will be three tiers of government: local, provincial and central (federal). Each government will have its own people’s representatives, its own budget and its own responsibilities. These three tiers of governance will work in tandem with one another.
The country is underdeveloped. It is among the least developed countries. The government has already envisaged a plan for graduating the country to the status of developing country by 2022. On the other hand, the government has also proposed making smart cities in Kathmandu and other places. What is worth mulling here is that Kathmandu and other cities have a plethora of problems. Converting Kathmandu into a smart city will take a long time. In fact, even a plan about how to make it a smart city is not in place right now. Making a smart city is not an easy proposition. It has to go digital and all the present problems need to be solved.
In view of the even basic problems like drainage, clean drinking water and healthcare yet to be solved, it seems we do not need a smart city right now. What we need is the solution to the present problems, which is easier to solve than to make a smart city. Thereafter, we can think about making smart cities.
There are many irons in the fire when it comes to development activities in the country. The work of the people’s representatives in this direction has not been visible yet. Perhaps they are busy formulating plans for the development of their respective areas.
The people’s representatives elected so far and other representatives to be elected later should have vision, a vision for developing the country. For this, they should change their working style and work according to their realistic plans. There should be a strong monitoring mechanism from the drawing board to the implementation and completion phase. The perfunctory manner of executing work as practised most of the time at present should be discontinued. Here, the role of leaders assumes great importance. Leaders should prove their mettle by acting as facilitators and trouble-shooters in development projects.
The point is that the working style should be result-oriented rather than perfunctory in the federal setup, which will soon manifest itself in the near future. All the people’s representatives manning the local, provincial and federal governments should act synergistically towards fructifying development projects so as to upgrade the standards of living of the people as well as that of the country itself. If the people cannot experience the perceptible differences between the federal and non-federal systems as per their expectations, what is the use of institutionalising the federal dispensation in the country? After all, the people who hope for the best under the federal dispensation should not be frustrated in their expectations.

 

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