Instead of writing the much-needed constitution, the political energy is being blatantly channelized for confrontation. The spate of strikes that have beset the country over the last few days attests to this fact.
It was the turn of the UCPN (Maoist)-led 30 -party alliance to impose general strike on Tuesday in the name of identity-based federalism.
This alliance has already collaborated with Mohan Baidya’s CPN-Maoist to again stage nationwide bandas on January 17 and 19.
After a lull of one year, the bandha culture is again rearing its ugly head.
The political strategy of bringing the entire country down to its knees for trivial interest is wicked.
Most of all, frequent bandas brutally hit the daily wage-earners at the bottom of the income ladder. And, ironically, this is the very unprivileged class for whom the opposition parties claim to be struggling for.
The series of bandas imposed in recent days is estimated to have caused a shocking economic loss of Rs 200 billion. It does not need a rocket scientist to suspect that the country’ already weak economy may suffer more severely if such menace is not stopped immediately.
The industrial and business activities across the country have long been smothered by problems like load-shedding, labour dispute and lack of investment-friendly policy.
In this connection, the onset of crippling strikes will only further suck up the country’s remaining economic energy.
The country is looking to graduate to ‘developing country’ status by 2022 by increasing the current per capita income of US $730 by almost two times. This aspiration may be jeopardised if the country continues to face a malaise like bandha.
It would be gullible to just point the finger at UCPN (Maoist) and the Madheshi parties for imposing strikes. There should be no doubt that the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, the two ruling coalition partners, first sowed the seed of this obnoxious culture.
After the restoration of democracy in 1990, they were the ones which call for a nationwide banda as a result of their dog-eat-dog competition for power.
The general people have really become fed up with such abhorrent political trend.
The strikes essentially deprive the common people of the means of livelihood and other emergency services. But the leaders are overlooking the plights of commoners as they are more leaned towards satiating their own political lust.