Friday saw another deadlock in Nepal. For the fourth time in the recent past, the 601-member parliament was unable to choose between Maoist leader Prachanda and his Congress rival Ram Chandra Poudel. It is not surprising.
The Maoists have great popularity at the ground level in Nepal’s poor districts. But they hardly command any support among the country’s political parties and the political class in general. Suspicions abound on their efforts to turn Nepal into a one-party-ruled country, an anachronism in the 21st century. These are not unfounded.
So as run-off after run-off continues, there is no one to fill the large cracks that have appeared in the Nepalese polity. It is important that the political vacuum be filled quickly, for it is in these restive waters that Maoists can fish for trouble. India should play a facilitative role to bring together all parties in Kathmandu and make them see sense.