Ruling party leaders express fury at NGO conference

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
As the international peace summit gets under way, NCP leaders voice discontent over the state’s involvement

Dec 1, 2018-Following widespread criticism from various quarters of its unnecessary involvement in an NGO’s summit, the governmentis under fire even from the leaders of the ruling party.

Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders have expressed discontent over the “misuse” of the party and the government’s resources to fulfil the vested interests of a person and a private institution.

The leaders were referring to former minister Ek Nath Dhakal, who leads the Nepal chapter of the Universal Peace Federation (UPF).Secretariat members including former prime minister Jhala Nath Khanal and Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha have expressed serious concern over the involvement of the government

and party leaders in the controversial peace summit.

“I’m not involved in any of the functions,” said NCP Spokesperson Shrestha, before heading for Biratnagar to attend a function on Friday morning.

Some leaders have expressed harsh comments on social media claiming that the leaders have misused the party and the government’s resources and violated diplomatic decorum. Others claimed that the NCP leaders were involved in the summit at their individual capacity and interests.

“National interest, diplomatic decorum and consequences should be kept in mind. Those organising the summit in the name of peace must reveal where the money came from. If not, the government should find out and reveal,” tweeted Bhim Rawal, an influential Standing Committee member.

Rawal’s tweet has been retweeted by other leaders including fellow Standing Committee member Ghanashyam Bhusal.

Many NCP leaders believe that those at the government’s helm and their confidantes were engaged in the activities from which they could gain personal benefits including growing rapport with national and international organisations.

“Otherwise how could they go for such a move that defames the country and nobody speaks positively about it. Even the organisers cannot talk openly and the news of the event has to be hidden,” said Bhusal, an ideologue.

He said the government and the party was not the top priority of the NCP brass but the benefits they receive from outside.

Party Chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, senior leaders Madhav Nepal, secretariat member and Deputy Prime Minister Ishwar Pokhrel, standing committee member and PM’s chief advisor Bishnu Rimal, and foreign affairs advisor and central member Rajan Bhattarai are involved in managing the summit on the government’s behalf.

Of the nine secretariat members, NCP Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, leaders Khanal, Bamdev Gautam, Spokesperson Shrestha and Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa are against the government’s move.

Senior leader Nepal hosted a press meet in Kathmandu last week in the capacity of chairman of the summit’s invitation committee to defend the move.

Dahal, according to leaders, was against the idea of the government engaging in the summit so he went to Nawalparasi and Dhading to skip the event. However, one of the top hotels in central Kathmandu carried a poster featuring Dahal welcoming the delegates of the Asia Pacific Summit.

“The party has not taken any decision about the event. NCP leaders have been engaged in the summit on behalf of the government and personal relations and interests,” said Mani Thapa, another Standing Committee member.

The ongoing secretariat meeting of the party has been affected at least for four days despite pressure from the leaders to call a Standing Committee meeting at the earliest to sort many pending issues of the party.

Some 22 central members recently submitted a memorandum to the party secretariat demanding a meeting of the central committee at the earliest. After meeting all major leaders except PM Oli, they are preparing to expand their campaign across the districts.

Published: 01-12-2018 07:47

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