Voice in kickback tape not Baskota’s, claims PM

Kathmandu, February 27

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today defended Gokul Prasad Baskota, who has been accused of negotiating kickback with Bijay Prakash Mishra, a Swiss company agent, in the security press procurement deal.

Addressing a Bagmati Province cadres training programme here today, Oli said Baskota resigned as communications minister not because allegation of corruption against him was proved but because questions were raised against him.

The PM said there was no concrete evidence against Baskota and claimed that even the voice in the kickback audiotape was not Baskota’s.

He added that baseless allegations levelled against Baskota by an amateur did not prove anything.

He said complaints lodged against Baskota and himself were baseless.

He added that if Baskota was found guilty, action would be taken against him. However, if the accusations were false, the person who made the accusations would face action, warned the PM.

This is the first time that the PM has spoken about the Baskota audiotape scandal. The main opposition Nepali Congress had sought the PM’s clarification on the issue in the House earlier this week.