UML ministerial team not inclusive: Rawal

Kathmandu, August 22:

Says far-west representatives ready to quit en masse.

CPN-UML Constituent Assembly members from the far-western region today criticised the UML leadership for not appointing the region’s representatives ministers.

Organising a press meet shortly after the party nominated ministerial candidates, lawmaker Bhim Rawal said the UML’s move violated the party’s statute, which calls for the representation of Dalits, Janajatis and backward people in organs of the state.

“Our action is directed towards safeguarding the party’s principles. We will move ahead keeping in mind desires of the people,” Rawal said.

“If the people of the far-west want it, we are ready to give up our posts and privileges,” he said.

Rawal said, “Before the standing committee’s meeting, I had written to party general secretary Jhala Nath Khanal to take certain steps to make the ministerial team inclusive.”

“Despite my recommendation, the standing committee picked Bam Dev Gautam, Bishnu Poudel, Ashta Laxami Shakya, Ram Chandra Jha, Kiran Gurung and Gopal Shakya for home, water resources, industry, local development, forest, and youth and sports portfolios.”

Another central committee member Radha Gyawali also took exception to the Standing Committee’s decision to join the government without allocating 33 per cent seats for women.

“I have decided to resign from the central committee,” she told this daily. The party flouted its guidelines, which call for inclusion of women, Dalits, Janajatis and other deprived communities.

Gyawali said she could not express her grievances in the party as the standing committee decided to pick ministers without holding discussions in the central committee. “I will submit my resignation to the party tomorrow,” Gyawali added. However, she would continue her membership in the Constituent Assembly.

She claimed that while nominating six persons for ministerial portfolios, her party selected only a woman member, Asta Laxmi Shakya, but did not include other deprived communities. “We had also called the party to send new faces to the cabinet, but the party leadership did not pay heed to our suggestion,” Gyawali added.

“It’s not always possible to appease every one in the party,” said Deputy Parliamentary Party leader Bishnu Poudel.

Rawal and Gyawali should have presented their grievances before the party rather than going public, Poudel said, but declined to comment on how the party would face the charges.