Socialist Party’s ‘long wait’ isn’t over yet « Khabarhub
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Socialist Party’s ‘long wait’ isn’t over yet

28 November 2019  

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KATHMANDU: The long-awaited cabinet reshuffle has created a political impasse for the Socialist Party, a Madhesh-based alliance for the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). The party in power with the bargain in Madhesh-agenda seems to be in a political impasse with the recent cabinet reshuffle.

Earlier, there had been speculations about Upendra Yadav, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Health then, abstaining from the cabinet citing the PM’s ‘negligence’ towards the ‘alliance’ and its key leader. Shattering the speculations of some Madhesi parties ‘waiting’ for the right moment to turn in the power both at Province level and center, Yadav, now a Law Minister, attended the Ministry as usual.

In the recent Cabinet Move, PM Oli had dismissed Dr. Surendra Chaudhary, the Minister of State for Health and had changed the portfolio of Upendra Yadav from DPM and Minister of Health to the Minister of Law.

Minister Yadav, who had refuted Federal Council’s chair Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, when the latter had opined about quitting the cabinet one week before the incident, has finally decided to go for a ‘serious’ talk with the government after the move.

Prior to it, when Dr. Bhattarai, proposed to quit the cabinet in the Federal Council Meeting held on Nov. 14 and Central Committee Meeting held on Nov. 16 and Nov. 17, Yadav was reported to have refused to go with the proposal. However, after returning from his trip to Delhi on Nov.23, it is said that Yadav decided to hold a talk with the government at Dr. Bhattarai’s proposal.

The PM’s either accept my decision or quit the government’ attitude reminded Yadav the days when he was requested to join the government by then NCP (Maoist) and NCP(UML) especially the agreement signed on May 28, 2018, by Yadav and the leaders of the aforementioned parties then. After his India trip, Yadav had called for the office bearer’s meeting and formed a 4-member team for holding the dialogue with the government.

Minister Yadav had abstained his new portfolio by not attending the new ministry for three days before he ‘accepted’ the new position and joined the Ministry on Tuesday.

The meeting uncertain due to the poor health of the PM

The team set for holding talks with the government consists of Yadav himself, the Chair of Socialist Party, Dr. Babu Ram Bhattarai, Federal Chair of the Party, and Ashok Rai and Rajendra Shrestha the Senior Leaders of the party. The date for the dialogue has gone uncertain citing to the sudden health fall of the PM.

Although the team was ready for the talk, sudden health deterioration of the PM which led him to 4th dialysis at Grande made it uncertain.

The uncertainty went to the climax with the PM being operated for appendicitis at Maharajgunj-based Man Mohan Cardiothoracic Vascular and Transplant Center at the Teaching Hospital, Kathmandu.

“We had proposed November 28- 29 for the talk, but as the PM had to undergo the operation we have to wait for some more time,” said Rajendra Shrestha, the deputy chairperson of the party. “The situation led us to wait for the health improvement of the PM, so our Chair shall resume his term in the cabinet now as Law Minister till further decisions are made,” Shrestha added.

Shrestha affirmed the uncertainty regarding the dialogue with the government and the ruling party owing to the health condition of the PM.

Sans farsightedness of party Chair Yadav

Party Chairman’s lack of ‘farsightedness’ is said to have come to the fore with the Oli-led government’s treatment to the party. Yadav, who had refused to listen to Dr. Bhattarai’s call for getting down the government saying ‘he had to be in the government even to safeguard democracy institutionalize the political achievements has to change his decision and go for the ‘serious’ talk.

Yadav had not allowed the issue of the evaluation of the government and the need to step down when Dr. Bhattarai had come with such an opinion on the November 15 meeting.

“We have some reservations about this constitution, we torched it when it was proclaimed in 2015, however there are some achievements as well,” Yadav is said to have told in the meeting adding, “ as we are also in the government, we owe the responsibility of safeguarding the constitution, this is a different way of protest.”

After Yadav’s answer, the central committee meeting of the party had dropped the possibility of leaving the government instantly and had even unofficially ‘sidelined’ the prospective unity- discussion with Rastriya Janatantrik Party.

Dr.  Bhattarai’s ‘queries’ about the Government

In his political report, Dr. Bhattarai presented in the federal council meeting of the party had stressed the need to quit the government as the leadership had failed to keep its words given in the ‘two-point’ agreement made on the eve of forming a two-third majority government. According to him, despite the two-third majority of the government, the government has not only violated the norms of agreement, but also had made the federal system weaker than before, so it’s high time to rethink the party’s involvement in the government.

“The NCP government not only failed to meet the people’s expectations, but also fell into the abyss of indecisiveness, corruption, and status quo,” Dr. Bhattarai has mentioned in his political report.

According to him, neither the government succeeded in addressing the political problems of the country, nor did it manage to prepare a draft of a new economic model. In his words, “The government failed in every promise of good governance and   making room for tolerable democratic culture.”

Dr. Bhattarai had severely criticized the government and was skeptic about its intent as well.

Despite it all, the decision to let the party be a part of the government is said to have been prompted by the fear of losing power both at the center and  the province level as the Madhesh based Rastriya Janatantrik Party, it thinks, could be vying for another ‘coalition’ with the government provided Yadav’s feet were off.

Publish Date : 28 November 2019 09:47 AM

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