Poudel calls for enquiry into Deuba’s role in aircraft deal

- ANIL GIRI, Kathmandu

Jan 15, 2019-

Senior Nepali Congress leader Ram Chandra Poudel on Monday said that the alleged involvement of party President Sher Bahadur Deuba in the controversial wide-body aircraft purchase deal will be established only after a thorough probe.

Organising a press conference at the party’s parliamentary office in Singha Durbar, Poudel, who is an arch-rival of Deuba, also demanded that the government launch an enquiry into the alleged involvement of the party president in the case.

Deuba, however, has denied the reports about his role in the procurement process of two Airbus A330 jets for Nepal Airlines Corporation.

The process to purchase the aircraft was initiated by the erstwhile government, helmed by incumbent Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on July 6, 2015, Deuba told media in Dhangadhi, Kailali, on Monday.

He added that the tender for aircraft procurement was also invited by the then Oli government on April 14, 2016.

But since media reports have mentioned that the first tranche of payment for the two jets was released when Deuba was the prime minister, Poudel said the truth should be investigated.

The government should form a probe committee to find out the truth about Deuba’s alleged involvement in the aircraft purchase deal in which more than Rs 4 billion was embezzled, he said.

Poudel also criticised the decision of the incumbent government to overturn the plan of the previous government to set up two hospitals in memory of former NC presidents, Girija Prasad Koirala Respiratory Hospital in Tanahu and Sushil Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital in Banke.

He also warned the government against endorsing the Medical Education Bill by disregarding the concerns raised by Dr Govinda KC. As the opposition party, Poudel said the NC was closely observing the government’s works.

His verdict was that the Oli government had failed to maintain law and order, ensure good governance and expedite development works.

Published: 15-01-2019 08:06

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