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12 faces stealing the spotlight: From Rabi to Govinda KC

Khabarhub

May 14, 2024

18 MIN READ

12 faces stealing the spotlight: From Rabi to Govinda KC

12 individuals stealing the show this week.

KATHMANDU: In the tumultuous landscape of Nepalese politics, characterized by fluctuations, controversies, and unrest, recent times have witnessed a cacophony of disputes within parliament and protests on the streets of Kathmandu.

Social networks reverberate with debates over legitimacy, while the court finds itself embroiled in a ‘social media trial’.

Amidst this turmoil, even the essential function of parliament during budget sessions is hindered by clashes between the ruling party and the opposition.

While the country’s Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane is preoccupied with self-defense, law enforcement agencies neglect crime control, raising concerns about a potential weakening of the police force and emboldening of criminals.

Yet, amid the chaos, the notion of crisis is not novel. Every political faction’s rhetoric begins with the acknowledgment of the nation’s dire state.

But is this crisis merely a recurring pattern, or does it signify an impending escalation? This question remains largely unaddressed.

As economic recession looms and governmental instability persists, characterized by ministerial reshuffles and opportunistic political maneuvers, public disillusionment with traditional parties intensifies.

The Council of Ministers recently made an official decision to feature Nepal’s ‘Chuchche’ map on the Rs 100 note, a move that garnered international attention.

The risk of this disillusionment morphing into anger poses a significant threat to the government’s stability.

In this context, we delve into the narrative of the “12 faces in spotlight”, aiming to distill the essence of contemporary developments.

Home Minister in the Crosshairs: The Dilemma

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane finds himself embroiled in controversy and heated debate.

Lamichhane’s involvement in discussions stems from the Nepali Congress’s insistence on disrupting regular parliamentary proceedings.

They demand the formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate Lamichhane’s alleged mismanagement of cooperatives in Pokhara and Rupandehi.

On one side of the divide, the Nepali Congress argues vehemently for an investigation into Lamichhane’s actions, while the CPN-UML opposes the formation of any such committee.

Prime Minister Dahal treads a moderate path, suggesting a parliamentary committee to examine cooperative issues holistically rather than targeting individuals.

Resignation of Chiranjeevi Nepal: Unfolding a Moral Conundrum

Chiranjeevi Nepal, the former Governor of Nepal Rastra Bank and economic advisor to President Ram Chandra Paudel, found himself at the center of controversy following a contentious statement he made, ultimately leading to his resignation.

Oli’s maneuvers, including splitting the Upendra Yadav-led janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) and drawing his attention towards Madhav Nepal’s Unified Socialist Party, are fracturing the political landscape, leaving the government grappling for stability rather than strength.

The Council of Ministers recently made an official decision to feature Nepal’s ‘Chuchche’ map on the Rs 100 note, a move that garnered international attention.

While some individuals in Nepal privately expressed reservations about the decision, labeling it as provocative to neighboring nations, Nepal openly voiced his dissent during a meeting.

This dissent did not sit well with CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, who objected to a presidential advisor criticizing a decision made by the Council of Ministers. Oli warned that unless Nepal resigned, he would demand the resignation of the President.

Faced with Oli’s ultimatum, Nepal tendered his resignation from the advisory post on moral grounds, highlighting the ethical complexities at play within the political landscape.

Moral Question Surrounding UML Chair KP Sharma Oli

Meanwhile, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli himself faced scrutiny this week, particularly in light of the full disclosure of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding the land of Giribandhu Tea Estate in Jhapa.

While Oli was not implicated in the Giribandhu verdict, questions arose due to his active involvement in policy decisions concerning the estate.

Critics argue that the government’s decision during Oli’s tenure contradicted the intended purpose of land laws, a stance upheld by the Supreme Court.

Oli’s activism in preventing the split of fringe parties, seeking retribution, and safeguarding cooperatives is pivotal.

However, his refusal to probe Rabi Lamichhane has led to a parliamentary deadlock, casting doubts on his coalition partners.

Oli’s maneuvers, including splitting the Upendra Yadav-led janata Samajwadi Party (JSP) and drawing his attention towards Madhav Nepal’s Unified Socialist Party, are fracturing the political landscape, leaving the government grappling for stability rather than strength.

Prime Minister Dahal also fears Oli’s ascension to a dominant party, potentially usurping the premiership.

However, allegations of political corruption surfaced, suggesting that a minister in Oli’s cabinet received financial benefits for facilitating the decision, with some reports indicating the purchase of a house in Kathmandu using these proceeds.

Furthermore, the decision-making process surrounding Giribandhu’s land lease was mired in controversy, including the removal of a secretary from the Land Reform Ministry who opposed the proposal.

Will the government prosecute those who amassed funds under the guise of Giribandhu or seek legal loopholes to enable land sales? The forthcoming actions of the government remain uncertain.

Teknarayan Pandey, who assumed the role of Land Reform Secretary and later became Home Secretary, is currently incarcerated in the fake Bhutanese case.

The decision to sell Giribandhu’s land, purportedly influenced by brokers in Jhapa, raised significant funds, some of which allegedly financed the UML convention in Chitwan.

This turn of events left many hopeful landowners in Jhapa disillusioned and financially strained.

Critics argue that the government’s decision during Oli’s tenure contradicted the intended purpose of land laws, a stance upheld by the Supreme Court.

Furthermore, the decision-making process surrounding Giribandhu’s land lease was mired in controversy, including the removal of a secretary from the land reform ministry who opposed the proposal.

Teknarayan Pandey, who assumed the role of land reform secretary and later became home secretary, is currently incarcerated in the fake Bhutanese case.

The court mandated the government to confiscate excess land of the tea estate.

However, before the verdict’s full text emerged, Oli and Prime Minister Dahal issued an ordinance under the guise of an investment convention. This move aimed to amend sections of the Land Act, allowing those with excess land to sell it.

Oli’s subsequent efforts to push this agenda hint at ulterior motives, but the Supreme Court’s ruling has effectively concluded this chapter.

However, Rai’s political trajectory post-Prachanda’s government collapse and the ideological basis of JSP’s split present compelling questions in the political landscape.

The lingering question pertains to financial misconduct tied to Giribandhu’s political decisions and restitution for affected individuals.

Will the government probe the corruption surrounding Giribandhu, a case of greater magnitude than the Baluwatar land issue?

Prime Minister Dahal and Home Minister Ravi Lamichhane now face scrutiny.

Will the government prosecute those who amassed funds under the guise of Giribandhu or seek legal loopholes to enable land sales? The forthcoming actions of the government remain uncertain.

Disillusionment of Upendra Yadav and Ashok Rai

Upendra Yadav, a prominent figure in Nepalese politics representing the Madhesi community, has faced challenges in leading his party and has been embroiled in corruption allegations.

This week, the Janata Samajwadi Party under his leadership split, thrusting him back into the spotlight.

During Yadav’s absence, Ashok Rai split the party, taking seven of 12 MPs.

Consequently, Yadav was ousted from his positions as Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, and his influence in Madhes dwindled.

In the federal government, Deepak Karki was replaced by Hasina Khan in the Ministry of State for Forests within Yadav’s faction, while Pradeep Yadav assumed the role of Health Minister from Ashok Rai’s faction.

Nawakishor Sah retained the Forest Minister post due to Rai’s allegiance.

With the defection, Prime Minister Dahal lost the support of five MPs previously aligned with JSP.

After reviewing the evidence, Pokharel asserted that there were no complaints or cases related to cooperative fraud against Rabi Lamichhane anywhere in the country, effectively granting him a clean chit.

Ashok Rai, formerly the CPN-UML leader, garnered UML’s backing to win elections under the umbrella symbol from Dharan.

Rai, now critical of CPN-UML’s stance, appears poised to form his own party, aligning with Oli and Prachanda.

In the aftermath of UML’s split, Madhav Nepal has become synonymous with Oli, while Ashok Rai emerges as a significant figure.

However, Rai’s political trajectory post-Prachanda’s government collapse and the ideological basis of JSP’s split present compelling questions in the political landscape.

Gagan Thapa’s Stand: Rift with Rabi Lamichhane

Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa has often found himself in the public eye, but this year, his strong stance against Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane in Parliament sparked widespread discussion on social media.

Thapa’s relationship with Rabi has become a focal point of news and speculation.

The rift between Gagan and Lamichhane has raised questions: Is this parting of ways a natural progression, or does it signify broader concerns about the younger generation’s disengagement from established politicians?

As victims of cooperative fraud struggle for justice and government interest wanes, is the Nepali Congress’s opposition stance against Lamichhane justified, or is it merely biased prejudice?

These questions dominate social media discussions, framed as a clash between Gagan Thapa and Rabi Lamichhane.

In Parliament, Congress General Seretary Thapa claimed to possess evidence implicating Lamichhane in the cooperative fraud case.

Instances like the tragic death of a woman in a hotel, where the police allegedly refused to file a complaint and instead registered a case of abetment of suicide, highlight the administration’s perceived weakness and insensitivity under current leadership.

In response, Rabi Lamichhane stated that he would exit politics if evidence of loan involvement emerged.

However, amidst the controversy, a significant development emerged: the Attorney General of the Government of Nepal, Dr. Dinmani Pokharel, stepped into the spotlight.

After reviewing the evidence, Pokharel asserted that there were no complaints or cases related to cooperative fraud against Rabi Lamichhane anywhere in the country, effectively granting him a clean chit.

The emergence of a letter from the Attorney General’s office, asserting Home Minister Lamichhane’s innocence, triggered a heated response from Nepali Congress leaders, who decried it as an abuse of office.

They argue that granting a certificate of innocence without a thorough investigation following police inquiries is untenable.

Gagan Thapa accused Attorney General Pokharel of undue influence.

The legitimacy of the Attorney General’s office issuing a ‘clean chit’ in light of ongoing investigations, police reports, and parliamentary inquiries has become a contentious topic within legal circles.

In a similar vein, Inspector General of Police Basanta Bahadur Kunwar also absolved Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane of wrongdoing weeks prior to the Attorney General’s pronouncement.

During a parliamentary committee hearing, Kunwar cited the unavailability of a key witness, GB Rai, who was reportedly in Malaysia.

The Nepal Police, led by Kunwar, has faced criticism for its perceived failure to combat corruption and reluctance to address criminal incidents effectively.

This incident sparked debates on gender dynamics and social media bias, with some expressing concerns about perceived injustices faced by Oad and questioning the laws governing marital relationships.

Instances like the tragic death of a woman in a hotel, where the police allegedly refused to file a complaint and instead registered a case of abetment of suicide, highlight the administration’s perceived weakness and insensitivity under current leadership.

Amidst nationwide demands for justice from cooperative fraud victims, the police’s apparent ineffectiveness has amplified concerns about police leadership.

Meanwhile, recent street protests gained attention, particularly one advocating for cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane’s acquittal on rape charges.

This vocal support, both on social media and the streets, underscores the phenomenon of ‘social media trials’ influencing judicial proceedings.

Sagar Thapa’s Protest and Social Media Dynamics

Former Maoist leader and ex-in-charge of YCL, Sagar Thapa, launched a program, including a mass hunger strike against the government, and controversially invited YouTubers to pay for coverage.

While this practice of paying journalists for news coverage is considered unethical, some YouTubers covered Thapa’s movement, albeit with limited impact in national media.

Initially targeting the Prachanda-led government, Thapa’s protest shifted focus to the judiciary, particularly concerning cricketer Sandeep Lamichhane’s case, as revealed by participants’ interviews with YouTubers.

This underscores the unpredictability of street protests, which can spiral into chaos at any moment.

Durga Prasai’s warning of impending unrest after June further accentuates this uncertainty.

Ultimately, decisions regarding Lamichhane’s case lie within the court’s jurisdiction, binding for all parties involved.

Support for singer Ravi Oad and Reflections on Social Media Bias

Social media also witnessed voices in support of singer Ravi Oad amid allegations of ‘marital rape’ leveled by his wife, prompting discussions on the provisions of rape laws.

Dr. KC has articulated four key demands, the first of which is justice for victims of the conflict following the completion of transitional justice processes, with a call for Prime Minister Dahal’s resignation to facilitate this.

This incident sparked debates on gender dynamics and social media bias, with some expressing concerns about perceived injustices faced by Oad and questioning the laws governing marital relationships.

The prevalence of a ‘right-wing’ bias on social media, favoring male and establishment voices over marginalized groups, came to the fore.

This bias was evident in reactions to a recent incident in Gongabu, where criticism towards a male assailant was muted, while blame was disproportionately placed on the victim, highlighting societal attitudes towards gender-based violence.

While Oad’s case is a private matter that should be addressed according to family law, questions regarding the legality and understanding of ‘marital rape’ under existing legislation warrant attention and discussion.

Suspicions Surrounding Bitumen Quality: Allegations against Surendra Kumar Goyal

Allegations have surfaced regarding the inferior quality of bitumen used for road construction nationwide, raising concerns about the contractor’s performance.

However, if the bitumen used for road paving lacks strength, how can the roads endure?

Prominent industrialist Surendra Kumar Goyal stands as a key figure in the official distribution of bitumen (Alakatra) in Nepal, with depots established in cities like Biratnagar, Birgunj, Bhairahawa, and Nepalgunj.

As demand for bitumen surges during the monsoon season, serious doubts have been cast on the quality of Goyal’s product.

Unfortunately, amidst such critical issues impacting the country’s infrastructure development, attention remains scarce.

Amidst the government’s internal struggles, Dr. KC’s demands face uncertainty in terms of fulfillment, raising concerns for his health. Stakeholders must heed these demands promptly to safeguard Dr. KC’s well-being.

While the Home Minister defends himself and the Prime Minister struggles to maintain his position amidst party splits, pressing matters like the alleged bitumen quality crisis linger without resolution.

22nd Hunger Strike Calls for PM Prachanda’s Resignation

Dr. Govinda KC, a vocal advocate against educational injustices, has initiated his 22nd hunger strike at Mrigasthali in Pashupati, commencing on Saturday.

KC’s protest centers around four distinct demands concerning the healthcare sector.

Dr. KC has articulated four key demands, the first of which is justice for victims of the conflict following the completion of transitional justice processes, with a call for Prime Minister Dahal’s resignation to facilitate this.

The second demand focuses on ensuring free and high-quality medication for all Nepali citizens.

The third demand pertains to the implementation of past governmental agreements.

Lastly, Dr. KC advocates for the establishment of healthcare institutions in various regions, alongside the passage of relevant legislation regarding the appointment criteria for university and healthcare institute officers.

Amidst the government’s internal struggles, Dr. KC’s demands face uncertainty in terms of fulfillment, raising concerns for his health. Stakeholders must heed these demands promptly to safeguard Dr. KC’s well-being.

However, Dr. KC’s campaign is also subjected to increased scrutiny in the realm of social media, with figures like Durga Prasai taking a dominant role.

This heightened attention underscores the complex interplay between social activism and digital discourse.

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