PM Oli flouts ruling party’s birthday celebration code

Kathmandu, February 24

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has come under fire from several quarters, including his own party colleagues, for making his birthday a flashy affair.

The prime minister yesterday travelled to his birthplace in Aathrai, Paanchthar, on a chartered helicopter, to mark his 69th birthday. His supporters followed him on three choppers. When Oli’s chopper landed on a dedicated helipad built in the front yard of the house where he was born, scores of his local supporters gathered.

Oli then cut a birthday cake sporting Nepal’s map reportedly gifted to him by the owner of a big business house of Nepal.

Soon after the event was reported, people took to social media to criticise Oli for cutting a birthday cake sporting Nepal’s map, and for flouting the code of conduct issued by his own party last month.

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) had on January 20 issued an 11-point code of conduct for party cadres and leaders, telling them to try to live a simple life and be economical during festivals. It states that NCP members should limit celebrations such as birthday and sacred-thread and rice-feeding ceremonies to their homes.

According to the code of conduct, if anybody is found violating the code, punitive action will be taken against them. It stipulates that the code was important for the party to deal with political and organisational problems the party was facing.

Oli was also condemned for cutting a cake with Nepal’s map, giving an impression of disintegrating the country.

NCP Standing Committee member Bhim Rawal today tweeted that cutting cakes during birthdays was not Nepali culture. “We call our country mother, so we cannot cut her into pieces and eat,” Rawal wrote. “Since we’ve been seeking help from the world in pursuit of prosperity, we should not spend a huge sum to celebrate our birthday. Moreover, the party’s decision doesn’t allow that,” he added. Others said Oli had gone against communist values.

Another NCP Standing Committee member said the PM’s birthday celebration had not gone down well with the party’s rank and file. “He has sent a negative message within the party,” he added.