Bhattarai warns PM against indulging in smear campaign

Kathmandu, February 26

Former prime minister Baburam Bhattarai, who chairs Federal Council of Samajbadi Party-Nepal, warned Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli against indulging in smear campaign against him over his government’s decision to grant ownership to tillers of land plots owned by late king Mahendra, which was later brought under Nepal Trust.

Speaking at the House of Representatives today, Bhattarai said his government’s decision to register Nepal Trust land in Matatirtha, Ichangu, Mahadevsthan and Satungal areas in the names of tillers was legally, politically and morally right.

Bhattarai said his government’s decision was based on the opinions by Office of the Attorney General and a committee that comprised then secretary of Nepal Trust.

Bhattarai’s clarification came days after PM Oli briefed the HoR of the achievements of his government in last two years when the PM said his government would investigate Bhattarai-government’s decision to register Nepal Trust’s land in individuals’ names.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Ishwar Pokharel also issued a white paper saying Bhattarai’s government was responsible for registering Nepal Trust land in individuals’ names.

Bhattarai said Patan Appellate Court (now Patan High Court) had ruled in a case saying that his government’s decision to give ownership rights of the Nepal Trust’s land to individuals was lawful as it was a policy decision.

Bhattarai said the PM was acting like former chief of the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority Lokman Singh Karki, who abused his power to intimidate people.

He reminded PM Oli how attack by Oli’s loyalists on him in 1994 inflamed the people’s war launched by the Maoist party. Bhattarai said he was attacked during his attempt to submit Maoist party’s memorandum to Oli, who was home minister back then. Bhattarai said late King Mahendra had decided to get his land plots registered in the names of tillers.

Since some poor and ignorant tillers could not register those land plots in their names in the past, his government had decided to register those land plots in their names.

Bhattarai charged that Oli’s government was trying to snatch tenants’ land so he could hand over those to Yeti Holdings.

Bhattarai also told the House that assets of all the leaders, who previously owned simple houses in villages but have built mansions in the city, should be investigated.

We all know we cannot build good Houses in Kathmandu with known source of income, he said.

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