Nepal | July 12, 2020

PM rants against India in bid to cling to power

HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
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The PM’s remark that India is trying to unseat him only undermines the prestige of Nepali people and the Parliament

KATHMANDU, JUNE 28

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, under pressure from Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders who want him to step down either as prime minister or party co-chair, again played the nationalism card today to stay on in power.

The PM, who wishes to pin the blame for everything that’s wrong with Nepal today on India, claimed that the Indian state apparatus was active to topple him from power for amending the constitution to depict Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in the country’s map.

But there were few takers for his assertion even in his own party, NCP lawmaker Ram Kumari Jhankrii said the PM’s remarks were aimed at diverting people’s attention from real issues. “The PM has failed in all respects.

He is making such remarks to mask his weaknesses and failures,” she said.

Addressing a programme organised on the 69th birth anniversary of late Madan Kumar Bhandari, the PM said, “You must have heard from Indian media that I am going to be unseated within a week or two. You must have heard the Indian intellectuals’ debate about this. Indian state apparatus is surprisingly active,” the PM said.

He even said an embassy was also active against him. Though he did not name the embassy, there is little doubt who he was referring to.

The PM claimed that he was removed from power in 2016 when he signed trade and transit agreements with China. “But if anybody is dreaming of removing me from power, then I must tell them that they will never succeed,” the PM said. In an apparent message to the leaders within his party who want him to give up either the PM’s post or step down as the party’s co-chair.

Though he is clinging on to power and skipped the NCP Standing Committee meet on Friday fearing tough questions from party leaders, he claimed that he had no desire to remain in power for long. He, however, added if he was removed from power, no subsequent prime minister would speak up in favour of the country. The PM said he was confident that neither his party nor NCP Parliamentary Party would seek to remove him from power.

Political analyst Uddhab Pyakurel said the PM, who has been drawing flak for questionable handling of the COVID-19 crisis, had unnecessarily ranted up rhetoric against India. “The PM’s remark that India is trying to unseat him only undermines the prestige of Nepali people and the Parliament. Nepalis voted the ruling NCP to power and the Parliament made him the PM. The NCP commands almost two-thirds majority in the Parliament. How can India make or topple Nepal’s PM,” Pyakurel wondered.

He added that a sovereign PM should not make such irresponsible remarks.

He said, “If the PM found any embassy’s activities against diplomatic norms, then he should take action against that embassy. But will he do that?”

Jhankri added that had the PM acted honestly, work related to party unity and the party’s General Convention would have been completed by now. “Had the PM mobilised party cadres well, we could have set up quarantine centres and isolation wards in each ward,” she argued.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 29, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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