Dr KC’s hunger strike is incited by oppn: Minister Baskota

Published On: January 11, 2019 07:38 AM NPT

Envoy Sherpa may step down in few days

KATHMANDU, Jan 11: Government spokesperson Gokul Baskota, who is also the Minister for Communication and Information Technology, has accused Dr Govinda KC of staging fasts-unto-death after being incited by the opposition forces. 

Speaking at the weekly press briefing at the ministry on Thursday, Baskota claimed that parliament’s Education and Health Committee has endorsed the National Medical Education Bill addressing almost all demands put forth by Dr KC. 

“The parliamentary committee has addressed almost all his demands for medical education reforms. That should have been celebrated instead of staging protests,” Baskota said. “If he has raised additional issues after being incited by others, the government has not paid much attention to it.” 

Dr KC started his 16th fast-unto-death in Ilam on Wednesday after the parliamentary panel endorsed the bill through a majority, with the backing of the ruling lawmakers against the agreements reached with him last July.

Recalling Dr KC’s past fasts-unto-death held during the premierships of leaders other than KP Oli, Minister Baskota claimed that even those governments led by the forces inciting him for hunger strike this time had failed to address all his demands. Baskota further accused Dr KC of raising “irrelevant issues not related to the medical profession”, hinting at the latter’s demands to book the culprits in the Nirmala Panta rape and murder case and the guilty of heinous crimes during the Maoist insurgency. 

Asked about the progress on the government’s investigation into Nepali envoy to Australia, Lucky Sherpa’s alleged involvement in human trafficking, Baskota said she was likely to resign in a few days. “The probe committee report has come up with a conclusion. 

She is not only a diplomatic person, but also a politically-affiliated individual. So, the top political leadership including the prime minister and party chairperson have taken the issue seriously,” Baskota added. “She has been asked to clear the way and we expect that she will do so within a few days.” 

Minister Baskota defended the government’s decision to form a separate committee to investigate the wide-body aircraft purchase scam, stating that the decision was taken after the parliamentary committee’s report appeared incomplete. 

“The sub-committee report was corrected by the full committee after some factual errors were found. The government-formed probe committee will investigate the issue fairly,” said Baskota. 

Opposition lawmakers have, however, said that the government’s move to form a separate panel, has undermined the notion of parliamentary supremacy. 

Informing the media about the cabinet decisions, Baskota said that the Bill to Provision Provincial Police has been endorsed by the cabinet and will soon be registered in parliament.

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