ANANTA RAJ LUITEL
KATHMANDU: Former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai’s claim on Friday that the President attempted four coups initially came like a bombshell but now has seemingly turned into a damp squib, with many questioning the veracity of Bhattarai’s statement. In addition, others are saying that the onus now lies on the former prime minister to justify the allegations, especially after President Ram Baran Yadav dismissed the allegations, saying that he ‘believes in rule of law, not coups’.
A political analyst even doubted whether Bhattarai really knows what a coup means. “It seems Bhattarai does not even know the meaning of the word ‘coup’,” Krishna Khanal, a professor of political science, told THT. “The allegation is as good as a cheap political stunt.”
President Yadav yesterday told THT in Janakpur that the allegation that former prime minister Bhattarai made was ‘not worth commenting’, adding: “I believe in rule of law, not coups’. A week after Bhattarai, also the vice-chairman of the Unified CPN-Maoist, levelled coup allegation against the Head of State, voices are growing stronger that either he withdraw his statement or come forward with evidence to support his claim.
Yubaraj Gyawali, Standing Committee member of the CPN-UML said it was height of irresponsibility on the part of Bhattarai to pass such remarks. “This is a highly irresponsible comment from a highly ranked leader,” said Gyawali, adding that such statements from a top leader like Bhattarai could be a recipe for disaster.
Talking to a select group of journalists at his residence in Sanepa on April 19, former prime minister Bhattarai had counted four events which he termed coup attempts by the President and claimed that his government had successfully foiled them.
Presidential decree that Bhattarai’s government was reduced to the caretaker status following the dissolution of CA, rejecting ordinances forwarded by his government and refusing to grant pardon to murder convict UCPN-M leader Baburam Dhungel and ‘cosying up to the army chief’ were few instances Bhattarai had counted which he described as President’s bid to stage coups.
Former Supreme Court justice Krishna Jung Rayamajhi said Bhattarai can have differences with the President but that does not mean he should be levelling charges against the Head of State. “Our political leadership is going to the dogs,” he said. “Even if what Bhattarai is claiming had happened, it was his duty as the executive head of a democratic country to bring it to public notice then.”