Calls his suspension from the House of Representatives unfair
KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 22
Nepali Congress Vice-president Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar said the autocratic communist government framed him in the Lalita Niwas land grab case to exact political revenge.
Speaking at a press conference organised here today, Gachhadar said as minister of physical infrastructure and transport in the Madhav Kumar Nepal-led Cabinet, he had only submitted his ministry's proposal related to Lalita Niwas development masterplan as per the directive of former prime minister Nepal and had committed no wrongdoing. "It was a collective decision of the Cabinet. I have done nothing wrong to benefit myself," he said.
He said he was framed in the Lalita Niwas land grab case to sabotage his five-decade-long political career.
He alleged that the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority framed innocent people like him in the case, but gave clean chit to some people who should have been held responsible for wrongdoing.
He said efforts to expand the prime minister's residence and widen roads in the Lalita Niwas Area that houses VIPs and central office of Nepal Rastra Bank started before he held the ministry of physical infrastructure and transport in the Nepal-led government.
Gachhadar said he just played the role of a line minister while implementing the masterplan of the government. He said anybody who read the case file could easily conclude that the allegations against him were false and fabricated. "My five decade-long political career is an open book. I have never embezzled a penny of the government.
I have served as minister in the government for long yet I do not own a house in the capital. I still live in a rented house," he added.
He claimed he played a role in ending the deadlock in the Constituent Assembly which helped frame the constitution.
Stating that suspension of a person who did not hold any executive post could not be deemed valid, Gachhadar said the provision related to suspension of public post holder was misused and he was unfairly suspended from the House of Representatives. He said the practice of CIAA acting on the basis of a complaint filed by unknown persons should be scrapped.
The CIAA had, in February 2020, filed a case against 175 individuals, including Gachhadar, for their alleged role in transferring Lalita Niwas land plots to individuals.
Gachhadar was released by the Special Court on a bail of Rs 1 million.
In response to a journalist's query, Gachhadar said he would not vie for the post of party president and didn't belong to any faction. He said he would continue to help harmonise ties between party President Sher Bahadur Deuba and senior leader Ramchandra Paudel.
A version of this article appears in the print on September 23 2021, of The Himalayan Times.