Bamdev Gautam sworn-in as National Assembly member

KATHMANDU: Vice-chair of ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Bamdev Gautam has been sworn-in as the newest member of the upper house of the Federal Parliament.

Gautam, on the recommendation of the Council of Ministers, was appointed as a NA member by President Bidya Devi Bhandari on Thursday.

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Gautam was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Chairperson of the NA Ganesh Prasad Timilsina.

On September 14, the Council of Ministers had decided to recommend him for the lone vacant seat of the 59-member National Assembly.

The seat fell vacant after the then finance minister Yubaraj Khatiwada’s two-year term ended on March 3.

Khatiwada was later appointed chief economic advisor to the Prime Minister.

The PM wanted to nominate Khatiwada to the NA, but the Secretariat of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) decided to send Gautam to the NA.

After being sworn in, Gautam told mediapersons that he would do his best to uphold the prestige of the House. He said he had no other ambition than to aid the cause of socialism.

Gautam had contested the last general election from his home constituency of Bardiya-1, but was defeated by Sanjay Kumar Gautam of the Nepali Congress. Civil society members and some political leaders had condemned the NCP for recommending Gautam for the Upper House, saying the decision undermined the spirit of democracy by rewarding a leader whom people had rejected in elections.