Surkhet, June 24
Nepal Communist Party (NCP) leaders were found using a Nepali Army helicopter, that was on standby for emergency relief and rescue operation, for the party’s work in Karnali Province.
NCP (NCP) leaders and Karnali Province Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi had kept the NA’s chopper on standby for two days to participate in the party’s district level meetings in Humla and Kalikot.
CM Shahi, Province Minister of Social Development Dal Rawal, NCP Karnali Province Chair Gorakh Bogati and Province Secretary Maya Prasad Sharma had boarded the NA chopper 9N-RAI yesterday morning to reach Humla.
A source at the Office of the Chief Minister said the CM had no formal programme in Humla that day. While Shahi and other NCP leaders participated in a swearing-in ceremony of district committee members, the chopper was kept on standby throughout the day at Humla airport.
Thereafter, the chopper had ferried CM Shahi and NCP leaders to Kalikot headquarters Manma last evening where they participated in the party’s function.
Information Officer Keshav Adhikari at the Office of the Chief Minister expressed ignorance about CM Shahi’s scheduled programmes. Information Officer Maniram Khanal at the Ministry of Social Development said he was ignorant about the helicopter.
NCP Province Chair Gorakh Bahadur Bogati said he had no idea about helicopter fare. According to a Nepali Army source in Surkhet, Minister of Social Development had booked the chopper at Rs 120,000 per hour.
Nepali Congress Parliamentary party leader of Karnali Province Jivan Bahadur Shahi denounced CM Shahi and NCP leaders for using the NA chopper for the party’s function by evading Provincial Assembly. The PA meeting was put off after the Nepali Congress obstructed the assembly.
A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.