KATHMANDU, July 2: Ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmakers fiercely criticized Prime Minister KP Oli for failing to run the government effectively and ensure good governance.
Most of the 31 lawmakers who spoke at the NCP’s parliamentary party meeting Monday accused Oli of trying to run the government unilaterally without consulting the party committees and at times keeping party leaders in the dark while taking key decisions.
According to lawmakers present at the meeting, Oli appeared quite on the defensive for the first time since he became prime minister in February 2018.
“Lawmakers questioned the working approach of the prime minister for the first time in our party. We informed the head of government that people are not happy with the performance of the two-thirds majority government,” a lawmaker requesting anonymity said.
Lawmakers including Janardan Sharma, Ghanashyam Bhusal, Ram Kumari Jhakri, Dharmashila Chapagain and Ganesh Pahadi were critical of the government leadership.
Sharma vented his ire for not being given an opportunity to share findings about the weaknesses of the government with the leadership. Bhusal suggested to the party leadership to be clear about the task of the government and to come up with a clear agenda.
“The prime minister cannot achieve the national goal of development and prosperity through the mobilization of party rank and file alone. I urged him to assign responsibility to federal, provincial and local-level elected representatives for achieving this herculean task,” Jhakri told Republica after the meeting.
Some lawmakers accused Prime Minister Oli of trying to show a heroic streak instead of trusting the party organization, and of taking decisions unilaterally.
A few lawmakers, however, defended Oli and accused the disgruntled lawmakers and party leaders of criticizing the government leadership on the strength of rumors. “Some lawmakers expressed concern over the performance of the party and government leadership and some others urged lawmakers not to run after rumors in taking the leadership to task,” said lawmaker Padam Giri.
Many lawmakers were disgruntled with Minister for Finance Yuba Raj Khatiwada for not allocating adequate funds for their respective constituencies.
Most of the lawmakers with a Maoist background criticized Khatiwada for centralizing the budget instead of allocating funds for empowering the federal units. They also questioned Prime Minister Oli and party co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal about progress in concluding the transitional justice process.
Some lawmakers expressed concern about party unification during the meeting on Monday.
“We have expressed serious concerns to the government leadership for not consulting the party while drafting laws. Many lawmakers suggested forming an expert panel in the party to help the legislation process,” said one lawmaker.
Lawmakers were allowed to have their say at such a meeting for the first time since Oli became prime minister. Oli, Dahal and Ministers Khatiwada, Raghubir Mahasheth and Padma Aryal responded to the concerns.
Dahal and Oli assured lawmakers of taking the unification process to a positive conclusion at the earliest, claiming that they didn’t have any differences over the issue.