With the resumption of the Madhesi agitation, soon after Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli managed to save his job, Nepal looks set to return to where it was in October-November 2015.
While the government admittedly has a challenging law and order situation at hand, the Madhesis too have changed their strategy by taking their agitation to the capital, Kathmandu.
1. Oli has made what’s now called an unsuccessful visit to New Delhi in February. That visit was supposed to restore India-Nepal ties and get the blockade being lifted. But that Oli wasn’t happy with India and later went to China where he signed various deals.
2. For India, the Oli government’s withdrawal of its ambassador and cancellation of the Nepal president’s visit was a low point in bilateral relations. Oli reportedly did it because the Nepali Congress tried to unseat him after party chief Sher Bahadur Deuba’s return from Delhi.
India – Nepal relations:
Both countries share historic, geographic, cultural and economic ties. Nepal being a landlocked country is dependent on India for its supplies. India has given Nepal free access to its ports. Recently, Neplalese govt. passed a new constitution on which rights of Madhesis considered to be of Indian origin were diluted. The Madhesis protested the move and blocked connectivity between India and Nepal which led to shortage of oil and other commodities in Nepal.
Now with Nepali public opinion set against India since the blockade, all that Delhi can do right now is watch and wait, while urging Nepal’s leaders to be accommodative.