Monthly Compilation of Views of VIF Expert Groups: March 2024
Anurag Bisen, Senior Fellow, VIF

During the month, the VIF Neighbourhood Experts Group hosted a roundtable discussion to analyse recent developments in Nepal and their implications for India. It emerged that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's removal of the Nepali Congress from the government marked a significant political shift, as he welcomed the Communist Party of Nepal — Unified Marxist-Leninist (CPN-UML) and two other parties to form a new government, reminiscent of previous coalitions since 2022. The discussion highlighted Nepal's ongoing political instability, driven by rotational leadership and coalition disputes, notably surrounding cabinet reshuffles and economic challenges. Corruption scandals and rising unemployment have fuelled emigration, while the resurgence of leftist alliances raises questions about Nepal's geopolitical leanings, especially towards China. The roundtable also explored Nepalese Hindu nationalism and monarchy dynamics, emphasizing India's need to adapt its diplomatic strategy and prioritize bilateral projects to navigate Nepal's evolving political landscape. Overall, the consensus underscored the importance of nuanced diplomatic engagement to strengthen India-Nepal relations amid internal and external uncertainties.

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