CIAA asks govt to book Sports Minister Poudel

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Sep 12, 2015-

The Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) has directed the government to book Youth and Sports Minister Purushottam Poudel on charge of his alleged involvement in appointing controversial Keshav Bista as member secretary of the National Sports Council (NSC).

The anti-graft body sent a letter to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers on Friday, requesting to initiate action against the minister for ‘improper conduct’.

The CIAA has accused Minister Poudel of appointing wrong candidate in the country’s apex sport governing body and failing to bear responsibility in addition his incompetence in heading the Sports Ministry.

“The commission has written a letter to the prime minister requesting to take action against him for his involvement in improper conduct,” said CIAA spokesperson Krishna Hari Pushka.

 When asked about the nature of action, Pushkar said the minister will have to quit the position after questions have been raised over his performance. “Otherwise, the PM will take action in accordance with law,” he said.

In its letter to the PMO, the CIAA has said the minister abused his authority by appointing Bista--who had faced accusations of helping Nepali athletes defect during Asian Games in South Korea’s Incheon in 2014--as the council’s member-secretary.

An 11-member high-level committee headed by Poudel himself had found Bista, alongwith five other sports officials, guilty of helping four Nepali athletes to flee the games village and slapped them with a one-year ban in October last year. Bista was managing the Nepali Sepak Takraw team at the games.

Minister Poudel, however, said there was nothing wrong with the appointment. “Unless the one is convicted by the court, any body is eligible to take charge of Sports Council,” he said.

 Poudel, who is considered loyal to the party’s senior leader and former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, had appointed Bista following a ministerial meeting on June 25 without consulting the party leadership. Following which, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli had instructed him to quit from the position or face consequences. Oli later back tracked from his stance following Nepal-led faction backed Poudel.

Published: 12-09-2015 08:31

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