For the last few months, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli and his cabinet colleagues have been dismissing public criticisms—even those made with the honest intentions of making the government accountable to its prime duty to rule of law and good governance—by calling them biased and politically motivated. Prime Minister and his colleagues give the impression, whenever they get a chance, that they are working as per the people’s mandate for good governance and prosperity and that it is only the media, journalists, civil society leaders and public intellectuals who are portraying them in a bad light. This faulty view and attitude has been making the prime minister unpopular. Now that his own colleagues in Nepal Communist Party (NCP) have started to voice dissatisfaction with government’s way of functioning, we believe it is really necessary for the prime minister to take those criticisms in good faith and drastically change the way he is governing the country. He should at least listen to his own comrades in the party, for they are telling the prime minister, among other things, to mend his ways.
In the parliamentary party meeting held on Monday, as many as 31 NCP lawmakers aired their views and most of them criticized the government and reminded the prime minister to be more accommodative. They accused the PM of failing to run the government effectively and ensure good governance. They argued that Oli is running the government rather unilaterally without consulting the party committees and, at times, even keeping party leaders in the dark while taking key decisions. The criticisms were so many, according to our report, that Prime Minister stood defensive and quiet in the meeting for the first time since he took office in February last year. NCP comrades have rightly informed the prime minister that people are not happy with the performance of the government.
These criticisms are valid because the government in recent times has landed in one controversy after another through its faulty decisions. Whether be it with Guthi Bill, Media Council Bill and other bills related to human rights commission and information and technology, the government was trying to push them unilaterally without consulting the relevant stakeholders. Guthi Bill triggered such huge protests in the capital that the government was forced to withdraw it from the upper house of the parliament. Likewise, the government’s failure to provide basic services has left the people disenchanted. Lawmakers in the parliament, including those belonging to NCP, have been raising these concerns but the government has long been ignoring them. Oli would not have to face these criticisms if he had been accommodative of differing views within the party. As a matter of fact, Monday’s meeting was the first occasion when NCP lawmakers were allowed to have their say over government’s performance since Oli became the prime minister. Prime Minister Oli has been facing criticisms from multiple quarters in recent times. And main reason for this is government’s failure to deliver as per its promises. Prime Minister needs to be really serious about what the people are saying about him. Instead of repeating the rhetoric of the NCP’s two-thirds mandate, now is the time to heed the criticisms from his own comrades and people and correct the mistakes.