Law minister quits over controversial comments

Published On: July 25, 2018 06:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Minister Tamang said his opponents exaggerated the issue out of proportion even after he issued an apology on Sunday.

KATHMANDU, July 25: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Sher Bahadur Tamang has stepped down from the post on Tuesday following public outcry over his controversial remarks on Nepali female students pursuing medical studies in Bangladesh. Tamang was overcome with emotions while announcing his resignation amid a press meet at the ministry.

Opposition parties, general public and rights activists had demanded Tamang's resignation and apology citing his statement as defamatory and irresponsible. Addressing a function of a school in Kathmandu last week Tamang had said that he heard that Nepali female students in Bangladesh should submit themselves for medical education certificates sparking public outcry demanding his resignation from the post.

Tamang tendered his resignation to Prime Minister KP Oli after the latter on Monday evening asked him to do so expressing serious discontent over the controversial statement. Reminding the government's policy of zero tolerance against any unethical activities and corruption, Oli urged Tamang to step down from the post.

“I decided to tender my resignation on moral ground to help for the success of the government and the prime minister as I value prestige over posts,” said Minister Tamang. He also added that his opponents exaggerated the issue out of proportion even after he issued an apology on Sunday. “My opponents exaggerated my statement even though I and my wife Ushakala Rai have struggled a lot for women's rights and dignity in our political careers,” said Tamang. Former Constituent Assembly (CA) member and provincial assembly member of Province 1, Rai was also present at the press meeting.

Claiming that he has lots of respect for women, Minister Tamang said he was saddened by the negative publicity against him. He also claimed that some forces had been plotting against him for some time as he adopted zero tolerance against corruption in the government bodies. “I don't have any personal interest other than working for the people,” Tamang said choking back the tears.

After assuming office, Tamang had announced to draft a law making it mandatory for the justices to make public their property. Minister Tamang said that his ministry has drafted a law to this effect and submitted it to the cabinet for further study. While the law ministry is facing criticism over the delay in drafting necessary laws for the implementation of the fundamental rights, he said his ministry has handed over drafts of 15 various laws for cabinet approval.

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