KATHMANDU, Oct 11: In a reflection of increasing rivalry between the two ruling coalition partners, a Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker has demanded the resignation of Home Minister Janardan Sharma, who belongs to the CPN (Maoist Center), for failing to catch the murderers of construction entrepreneur Sharad Kumar Gauchan.
Speaking in parliament in a special session Tuesday, NC's Ram Hari Khatiwada came down heavily against Home Minister Sharma. “If the individual responsible for maintaining peace and security fails to do so he should resign. I strongly demand the resignation of the home minister,” Khatiwada said. “A big-time construction entrepreneur is killed in broad daylight and if the home minister fails to identify those involved how he can maintain security for the upcoming elections for parliament and the provincial assemblies?”
The NC lawmaker's demand in parliament comes a week after Maoist Center joined in alliance with the main opposition CPN-UML preparatory to the upcoming polls and with a view to unification between the political parties.
“The home minister should be informing parliament about the incident but he has been turning a deaf ear while other construction entrepreneurs are also receiving similar threats,” Khatiwada said, venting his ire. Prime Minister Deuba has reportedly been holding consultations with party leaders about ousting the home minister after the Maoists joined up with the main opposition party.
Meanwhile, most of the lawmakers speaking at the special session demanded thorough investigations into the shooting of Gauchan, who is chairman of the Federation of Contractor Entrepreneurs Nepal.
NC lawmakers Romi Gauchan, Deepak Giri and Deepak Kuinkel also demanded Home Minister Sharma's answer to parliament about the shooting incident. “The home minister should answer to parliament about the incident,” said Giri. Gauchan demanded serious investigations into the incident and intensified search for those involved.
Speaking at the session, CPN-UML lawmaker Janardan Dhakal claimed that the incident indicated the failure of the government. “The shooting dead in broad daylight of a high-profile individual shows that public insecurity has been increasing and the government has failed to safeguard the citizens,” said Dhakal.
Maoist Center lawmaker Ram Narayan Bidari, also drawing the attention of the government, wondered whether the incident was intended to foil the environment for the elections. “I wonder if this incident is not a serious poly to affect the upcoming elections. It has made all citizens feel insecure,” he said.
Nepal Loktantrik Forum lawmaker Yogendra Chaudhary demanded a commission for the investigation of the incident. He also demanded harshest punishment for those involved.
Prem Suwal of Nepal Workers Peasants Party, Rukmini Chaudhary of Sanghiya Loktantrik Rastriya Manch and other lawmakers also demanded expedited searches for the murderers.