July 17, 2018 02:00 AM NPT
Govt rolling back popular decisions
The government of K P Sharma Oli has been making one after another mistake in the recent times, which is not only making the two-thirds majority government unpopular but is also making the people doubt his intention. For one, it has shown flagrant disregard to the agenda of reforms in medical education and public health initiated by Dr Govinda KC, who has been on hunger strike for the same cause for the past 18 days. Instead of working to address his demands the government is behaving extremely cruelly with the saintly figure. As a result, there has been huge public resentment against the government. On Monday, more than two dozen rights activists including noted human rights defender Krishna Pahadi were arrested from New Baneshwar. The activists gathered in front of the parliament ahead of the House meeting to draw the legislature’s attention and to protest government crackdown on freedom of expression and the right to peaceful protests. Regrettably, the government is not working on vital public issues but is taking on confrontation path with the people.
The government has starkly failed to materialize some of the good initiatives it had taken in the initial days. Its decision to end transport syndicate and banning the plotting of cultivatable land for the purpose of housing construction had been well received by the people. Now there are indications that the government is not going to push these vital issues. Instead, under the influence of various interest groups, it is backtracking. The government is preparing to extend the deadline given to the transport committees to legalize their property. It is also learned to be working to withdraw the suspension of bank accounts of the transport committees, raising the fear that transport cartels and syndicates will be revived. The decision to not renew the registration of transport committees had forced them to register themselves as transport companies. And the decision to declare the property of the transport operators unwilling to operate as transport companies as illegal had motivated many transport committees to start the company registration process. Besides, the government is also going to lift the ban on plotting of cultivatable land, allowing haphazard land plotting by land mafia.
When Prime Minister Oli took office in February, he had inspired hope. He presented himself as a leader committed to uproot years of misrule, corruption and establish rules-based political order. He promised to ensure basic services like health and education to people. He promised that there would be no room for corruption under his leadership. We had lauded those initiatives with the belief that the PM is serious about his business. Five months later, Prime Minister Oli and his cabinet colleagues are acting against those commitments. An academician is held back from the airport and is detained at the prime minister’s residence without any justification, practicing doctor is held ‘captive’ for no good reason and the government is becoming intolerant toward peaceful protestors. This does not bode well for the leaders and the parties whom the people voted last year with hopes and expectations. It would do well for the prime minister to look back on what he promised and what he is doing. Perhaps he would know where he is failing and how he is failing. We hope the prime minister has not abdicated his duty to the people.