Kathmandu, December 2
Nepali Congress today said its serious attention was drawn to the ‘publicity stunt’ the government pulled to promote its social security scheme by displaying the image of Prime Minister and Co-chairperson of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli around Kathmandu Valley on November 27.
Speaking at a press meet organised at the party’s central office in Sanepa, NC Spokesperson Bishow Prakash Sharma castigated the method of publicity and termed it ‘unncessary and ostentatious’.
“NC had played a decisive role in getting the contribution-based Social Security Act approved in the Parliament on 24 July 2017 when the NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba led the government. However, the publicity stunt pulled off by the Oli-led government to promote the social security scheme in a fashion of election campaign with his images placed everywhere in the city shows that the government and his party are trying to spread rumours among the people,” he said.
The success of social security schemes hinges on ‘mature and responsible magnagerial capacity, not on showy false advertising’. “The NC would like to caution the government about the reality. Only the encouraging roles of all three sides — the government, employers and employees — can make it a success,” Sharma said, adding that the NC would support and forewarn the government simultaneously on merit basis as the main opposition party.
NC said that the Act was authenticated by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari and had come into force from November 17, 2017. Prime Minister Oli had also termed the social security schemes ‘the beginning of a new era’. “How come PM Oli calls November 27 of this year the beginning of new era? The new era had begun on 24 July 2017 when the Act was approved by the Parliament or on November 17 of the same year when President Bhandari authenticated the law. This publicity of the Oli-led government is merely a flimsy veil used to cover up its plummeting popularity,” Sharma added.
NC also alleged that the government had resorted to showy publicity of the social security scheme approved by the Parliament when it was ruling the country, while revoking the same government’s decision to provide monthly subsistence allowance of Rs 5,000 to persons living with terminal deceases.
The party also condemned police action against rights activists who were staging a peaceful protest and pasting images of Nirmala Panta on utility poles in Maitighar last Monday seeking justice for the rape and murder victim. “The government allowed display of the PM’s photos everywhere in the city for the purpose of a publicity stunt, but obstructed citizens who sought justice for Nirmala and her family,” the NC said.