Federalism is a foregone conclusion. In a country where no ethnic group is more than 20% of the population, Nepal was always destined to have multi-identity states, it was only a question of what you were going to name them, and geographic names might be the most palatable.
And I do believe we are going to get a constitution before 2014 is out. You can accuse the Congressis of nepotism and corruption and inefficiency and ignorance and lack of imagination and a dozen other traits that democracy throws your way because mediocrity is all too pervasive in most aspects of life, but one thing that political party has stood for time and again is basic democracy, the rudiments of rule of law.
I think it is smart of the Maoists to decide not to go into power. When you do that you get to ride the anti-incumbency wave the next time around.
The Madhesi parties are in the most precarious position. When they split like amoeba over the past few years somehow they felt they were going to defy the laws of political gravity. Does not work that way. The Terai is going to end up with two states, which is what the Madhesi parties wanted. The big parties also fielded Madhesi candidates in the Madhesi majority constituencies. So if your identity and your agenda are both co-opted, you have some homework to do.
The Madhesi parties might not unite and become one, and they might not do the ideological homework that would stem from the realization that now after federalism and the constitution the parties that best focus on the economy like a laser beam will perform the best at the polls. The Madhesi parties might fare equally bad the next time around as well.