Top leaders indifferent to activist’s demands

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 24, 2018-

On the 24th day of Dr Govinda KC’s indefinite hunger strike, top leaders of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) on Monday were indifferent to the demands of the agitating orthopaedic surgeon.

NCP leaders seem to have dug in their heels over the concerns of Dr KC even as public pressure mounts on the government. This was evident when Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and NCP Co-chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal criticised the agitating doctor. Speaking at an event organised to mark the 40th memorial day of the party’s founding leader Pushpalal Shrestha, both Oli and Dahal showed no sign of addressing Dr KC’s demands.

Prime Minister Oli accused Dr KC of “violating his own human rights” by abstaining from food. While he urged the agitating doctor to come to the negotiating table to seek a solution through talks, Oli expressed his disappointment at Dr KC’s refusal to talk to the government team. “There are rules and procedures for holding talks. But it has not happened here. We are still inviting Dr KC for talks,” PM Oli said. Dahal, who had maintained silence on Dr KC’s issue lately, termed his indefinite fast as his usual job. “The society has digested it,” said the former prime minister.

Both Oli and Dahal also came down heavily on the opposition Nepali Congress. PM Oli accused political parties particularly the NC of politicising Dr KC’s demands to serve their vested interests. “The fasting doctor has failed to grasp this,” Oli remarked.

Referring to the NC, Dahal said that the country’s oldest party had become so weak that it needed “Dr KC’s support to do politics”. He added that the communist party would launch a popular campaign against reactionary forces to reassert its power.

Oli also asked the agitating doctor to lead the Medical Education Commission. “I invite Dr KC to discuss ways to reform the medical education sector. He can lead the commission and take responsibility,” the PM said. The Medical Education Bill registered in Parliament, however, proposes a PM-led commission.

Chief ministers of Gandaki Province and Province 5 joined the chorus on Monday to criticise Dr KC. Prithvi Subba Gurung, the Gandaki Province CM, said that the communist party would not accept Dr KC’s civil disobedience (satyagraha). “The government of the communist party cannot address unjust demands even if some people launch a satyagraha. Dr KC’s demands will not be fulfilled,” he said.

Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokhrel also criticised Dr KC calling his fast “ill-intentioned” and that the Congress had started its struggle not to support the agitating doctor’s cause but to topple the government.

Published: 24-07-2018 07:22

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