KATHMANDU, Aug 29: A controversial remark made by Communications Minister Gokul Banskota that the public holiday announced to mark the Constitution Day is not for dating or drinking has drawn widespread criticism on social media.
Shortly after his statement on Wednesday went live on various online media platforms, the people took to Twitter and Facebook to react with sarcastic comments.
Although the directives of Minister Banskota were mainly aimed at civil servants, most of the social media users construed that it was actually aimed at the general public as well.
“So this is how the government’s spokesperson is supposed to talk? I wonder if North Korea issues such a directive on Kim’s birthday?” one Saroj Khadka tweeted.
Another Twitter user Pragati Adhikari sarcastically commented on the news: “I guess the holiday is given to read the Constitution book.”
The minister’s remark during a meeting of the Publicity Sub-Committee under the Constitution Day Celebration Main Organizing Committee at his office in Singha Durbar on Wednesday did not go down well with the public.
“So I have finally decided to post a picture of my girlfriend that I have kept hidden for the past four years on that day. Hahaha,” wrote Ramesh Shrestha in his Facebook post.
“Poor Minister! He neither seems to have fallen in love nor known this before. I wish someone could tell him that those in love do not wait for any Constitution Day to go for a dating,” wrote another Facebook user Gita Chimoriya.
Minister Banskota, who is also the government’s spokesperson, had urged everyone during the meeting to celebrate the Constitution Day on September 20 in a grand manner.
“Please be clear that the holiday on Constitution Day is not for playing cards, drinking, and dating. Let’s celebrate the national day in a grand manner,” he said.
The Constitution Day that marks the day of promulgation of the new constitution four years ago falls on September 20 this year. A special ceremony is scheduled to be organized at Tundikhel to mark the day.
The ceremony will be attended by President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister KP Oli, Chairman of National Assembly Ganesh Timalsina, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara, chiefs of the constitutional bodies, ministers, leaders representing of various political parties, chiefs of security bodies, civil servants and others. Besides making sarcastic statements on the minister’s directives, some even took the opportunity to criticize the integrity of politicians.
“Have you ever realized that the ones who give these dialogues are the ones who do it themselves?” commented Bhagirath Singh on the Facebook page of Nagarik News.
Some youths even took the opportunity to demand public holiday on Valentine’s Day.
“Government, please give us public holiday on Valentine’s Day so that we do not have to go for dating on the Constitution Day,” wrote Suzata Dhungana.
Earlier, Banskota had landed in controversy for saying that the ruling NCP General Secretary Bishnu Paudel, who was accused of being involved in Lalita Niwas land scam, was actually duped and should be compensated instead.