April 11, 2017 06:00 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, April 10: Opposition parties have criticized the government for engaging in a 'trivial' row over hierarchy in the cabinet while ignoring the sensitivity of the fast-approaching local polls.
Speaking during special hour in parliament Monday, CPN-UML lawmaker Rewati Raman Bhandari and Rastriya Janamorcha Chairman Chitra Bahadur KC came down heavily on the government for failing to manage cabinet affairs.
"The poll date is inching closer, but Nepal Police, the major security body, is still without a chief as the government has remained unable for weeks to appoint a new IGP thanks to the hierarchy row," said Bhandari. Indicating the decision of Deputy Prime Minister Bimalendra Nidhi to walk out of the cabinet meeting, Bhandari suggested he resign from the post. "If the DPM continues to enjoy state facilities he must attend the cabinet meeting. If he wants to boycott the cabinet, it is better for him to resign instead," said Bhandari.
The UML lawmaker, citing a recent incident in Sunsari district, likewise criticized Nidhi, who is also home minister, for failing to defend the police from attack by the agitating Madhes-based political parties.
Rastriya Janamorcha Chairman KC also flayed the government for leaving the country in deadlock for so long over a trivial issue. "A meeting of the cabinet usually has 20 to 40 different items on its agenda. The government is making a mockery of things in failing to convene the cabinet for more than three weeks," said the former deputy prime minister.
He was of the view that if Prime Minister Dahal can't manage the politicians he shouldn't have appointed three deputy prime ministers. "Parliament should know how long this dispute will drag on," said KC.
Bhim Acharya, another UML lawmaker, had also raised the issue in parliament, during a previous meeting.
The dispute over who is the seniormost deputy prime minister (Nidhi of Nepali Congress or Thapa of RPP) has become serious. After Dahal decided to choose Thapa as the seniormost DPM, Nidhi skipped the cabinet meeting.