Former President Bhandari’s “activism” sparks a wave of discussions


August 17, 2023


Former President Bhandari’s “activism” sparks a wave of discussions

Former President Bidya Devi Bhandari/File Photo

KATHMANDU: Former President Bidya Bhandari’s name has been intertwined with CPN-UML politics after she concluded her seven-year tenure at Sheetal Niwas following two terms in office.

This newfound association has sparked a noticeable wave of discussions both inside and outside the party.

Commentators and political analysts are speculating about Bhandari’s potential involvement in CPN-UML politics, prompting discussions and debate.

However, Bhandari herself has refrained from publicly stating her intentions regarding political engagement.

Instead, she has conveyed to those who have met her that her primary interest was in pursuing social work.

Despite Rai’s dismissal of the claims, discussions gained momentum after UML President KP Sharma Oli addressed Bhandari’s political engagements and activism.

During a press conference held on July 28 at the CPN-UML party office in Chaisal, President Oli categorically denied the possibility of Bhandari entering active UML politics. Furthermore, Oli asserted that the ongoing propaganda about her meetings with UML leaders was merely an attempt to weaken the party’s position.

Meanwhile, acknowledging that he had met former President Bhandari on multiple occasions, CPN-UML KP Oli recently said his meetings with the former President shouldn’t be construed as attempts to pull her back into politics.

Oli dubbed her “UML’s close friend and a well-wisher”.

“Former President Bhandari has remained relatively low-profile, and attending few public events in the past five months,” a party leader said adding that the issue was being unnecessarily magnified.

Nevertheless, there has been a notable increase in the number of visitors to her residence in recent times, mostly consisting of UML leaders and party members.

According to Bhandari’s private secretariat, individuals who attempted to meet her during her presidency but were unable to due to time constraints are now visiting her at her private residence.

Sources close to her claim that her well-wishers and individuals who desired to meet her during her tenure as President but couldn’t due to various reasons are now coming to meet her.

They claim that her desire for political involvement is baseless.

According to party insiders, Bhandari’s recent interests are centered around issues such as climate change and women.

The source, who do not want to be named said, any connection to political activities might be a narrative fabricated by some others.

According to sources, the former President is busy meeting with UML leaders, and party workers.

However, UML Chairman Oli interprets these meetings as courtesy ones.

Prior to becoming the country’s President, Bhandari was the Vice Chairperson of CPN UML.