Kathmandu – On Tuesday, Sher Bahadur Deuba, President of Nepal Congress, took over as the Prime Minister of Nepal. While reinstating the dissolved Nepalese Parliament, the supreme court had given a verdict to appoint Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister of Nepal. Prime Minister Deuba is a known India supporter. Deuba had consistently criticised the pro-Chinese policies of the former Prime Minister KP Oli Sharma. Therefore, Deuba taking over as the Prime Minister of Nepal is considered a crucial favourable development for India-Nepal relations. Deuba has been the Prime Minister of Nepal four times before this.
There have been major political upheavals in Nepal in the last year. The then Prime Minister KP Oli Sharma had created tension with India, publishing a new Nepalese map showing Indian territories Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura as a part of Nepal. After that, Prime Minister KP Oli Sharma started a spate of anti-India decisions and statements. He even undertook some infrastructure projects, with China, against the Indian interests. The relations were further strained with this. But Oli Sharma became a target of criticism when it was exposed that China was encroaching even on Nepalese land. The opposition and the population started strongly criticising Oli Sharma and the Chinese interference in Nepal. A divide was created even in the ruling Nepalese communist party.
Communist party leader and former Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as Prachanda, opened a front against Oli Sharma. The Oli Sharma government came in a minority after Prachanda and his group withdrew their support. Following these developments, in December, Oli Sharma raised a demand with President Bidya Devi Bhandari to dissolve the Nepalese Parliament. After that, the President decided to dissolve the Parliament and call for fresh elections.
Leaders of various political parties challenged the decision to dissolve the Parliament. After a hearing in February, the Nepalese supreme court ordered to reinstate the Nepalese Parliament. The supreme court said that the decision to dissolve the Parliament was inappropriate without examining the other options. The supreme court warned not to burden the Nepalese population with another election. The Parliament was reinstated after this. But after the problems faced by the Oil Sharma government increased, Oli Sharma once again requested the President to dissolve the Parliament.
Accordingly, following the demand of the then Prime Minister KP Oli Sharma, President Bidya Devi Bhandari once again dissolved the Parliament and announced elections. The opposition parties approached the court once again, challenging the decision. It was claimed in 30 petitions filed in the court that the decision of the President to dissolve the Parliament was inappropriate. A demand that Sher Bahadur Deuba should be appointed as the Prime Minister was made in the court. 150 out of the 275 members in the Nepalese Parliament declared support for Sher Bahadur Deuba.
Therefore, the supreme court allotted 24 hours while reinstating the Parliament and instructed the President to appoint Sher Bahadur Deuba as the Prime Minister of Nepal. Accordingly, President Bhandari appointed Deuba as the Prime Minister of Nepal. He was sworn in on Tuesday. Deuba has become the Nepalese Prime Minister for the fifth time. He will soon have to prove his majority on the floor of the Parliament. After Deuba took over as the Prime Minister, the Nepal election commission cancelled the elections scheduled for November.
Prime Minister Deuba is known to be a supporter of the economic and other cooperation with India. In 2017-18, after becoming the Prime Minister for the fourth time, he visited India and met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Deuba has a soft stand regarding the Madhesi in the Tarai sector and it is being expected that the tension between India and Nepal will diffuse during his tenure.