KATHMANDU, Oct 26: Although the ruling Nepali Congress (NC) Central Working Committee meeting that concluded on Tuesday did not take any decision whether to back the impeachment motion against CIAA chief Lokman Singh Karki, the NC lawmakers speaking during parliament meeting made a strong case for backing the motion.
NC lawmakers Gagan Thapa, Ram Hari Thapa and Badri Pandey strongly backed the impeachment motion while deliberating on the impeachment motion in parliament. They backed the impeachment motion although the party's CWC meeting concluded Tuesday morning with a decision to entrust the parliamentary party to take 'appropriate' decision on the issue.
“The impeachment motion is legal as well as a subject of discussion in parliament. This issue should be investigated independently in the Impeachment Recommendation Committee formed by the parliament,” said NC senior leader Ram Chandra Paudel. “There should be no undue influence. NC will take appropriate decision when the parliament votes on the motion.”
According to a CWC member, NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba had wrapped up the meeting saying that they cannot save Karki as he is "acting like a new king and running a parallel government." Deuba had also complained that there were credible evidences that Karki had threatened police, bureaucrats and political leaders and extorted money from them in the name of curbing corruption.
CWC members including Dhan Raj Gurung, Gagan Thapa, Bishwa Prakash Sharma, Pradip Paudel, Badri Pandey and Surendra Raj Pandey had urged the party leadership to immediately take decision on the impeachment motion during the CWC meeting. However, NC did not take formal decision on the issue as majority of CWC members maintained that there could be a conspiracy behind the impeachment motion sponsored by UML and the CPN (Maoist Center).
While deliberating on the impeachment motion in parliament meeting on Tuesday, NC CWC member and lawmaker Gagan Thapa alleged that the party's top leadership had surrendered to the 'invisible forces' while appointing Karki as the chief of the CIAA. He also argued that Karki is on a path to becoming our J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the Federal Bureau of Investigations of the United States.
Recalling that then party president Sushil Koirala and then president Ram Baran Yadav had assured their delegation that they won't appoint Karki as CIAA Chief, Thapa said leaders had eventually appointed him under pressure from undisclosed forces. "Leaders had then said that they were upstaged. But they never disclosed who had upstaged them. We cannot be sovereign in true sense until we can speak up openly who exert such pressures on us," said Thapa.
“The impeachment motion was registered suddenly without any consultation with the NC. Notwithstanding the way it was introduced in parliament, it is time for all political parties to unite together to pass the motion. We can then discuss what kind of anti-graft body we want in Nepal,” he further said.
Likewise, Ram Hari Khatiwada argued that although Nepali people overthrew monarchy back in 2008 the CIAA chief Karki had emerged as a new king in Nepal. While arguing that the NC would eventually stand in favor of impeaching Karki considering his questionable background and work as CIAA chief, Khatiwada also asked all not to cast doubt on NC's intention.
Also speaking on the occasion, NC lawmaker Badri Pandey said NC should back the impeachment motion although the party that commands more than one-third of the total seats in parliament was not consulted before registering the impeachment motion. NC has a total 207 of the total 595 lawmakers in parliament.