Some ask PM to dump controversial ministers, punish poor performance
KATHMANDU, Dec 21: Nepal Communist Party Standing Committee (SC) members have criticized the party leadership and others in positions of power for their lavish lifestyle and for forgetting the party's original base of grassroots politics.
Some of the SC members airing their views at the ongoing SC meeting expressed serious concern at the “latest trend of individual leaders prevailing over the party's system and organization”.
“Some of us drew the attention of the party leadership to the attraction of some leaders toward a lavish lifestyle with luxury vehicles and expensive helicopters as this is reason to worry, given that communists should always adhere to simplicity,” SC member Amrit Bohara told Republica.
According to him, the party leadership was also criticized for not giving a role and responsibility to all party members in a judicious fashion. “As our party has accepted a policy of one-person one-position, this should have been enforced strictly but some leaders are given additional roles while others are rendered role-less,” he said.
Some others accused the prime minister and ministers for trying to run the government without any coordination with the party.
Lilamani Pokharel said they have pressed the leadership to correct the government's working style as the people haven't felt any relief even months after the formation of a two thirds-majority government.
However, SC member Bishnu Rimal, who is also chief adviser to the prime minister, accused many of the leaders of “trying to criticize the government and party leadership unnecessarily and exaggerating things.”
The SC members have been commenting on the political paper jointly presented by party Chairmen duo KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal earlier this week.
Earlier, on Wednesday, several SC members came down heavily on the government for the lackluster performance of some ministers and various controversial decisions taken by them. They also demanded the replacement of these 'inefficient ministers'.
Some SC members and former ministers including Surendra Pandey, Lekhraj Bhatta and Raghuji Panta demanded a reshuffle of the cabinet to replace ministers with poor performance and those involved in controversial decisions.
Without naming names, these leaders claimed that some ministers have tarnished the image of the party and the government just to fulfill their own vested interests.
Taking the appointment of Digambar Jha to the post of chairman of Nepal Telecommunication Authority as an example, former finance minister Pandey asked the party leadership not to make promises to end comprador capitalism in their speeches and in party documents as long as such people are being appointed by the party to key government positions.
“Our party leadership must understand that comprador capitalism cannot be ended without first ending the political appointment of brokers and middlemen,” one leader quoted Pandey as saying at the meeting.
Similarly, Panta demanded that Prime Minister and party Chairperson KP Sharma Oli use his prerogatives and relieve the ministers responsible for controversial decisions. “Decisions by some cabinet ministers have tarnished the image of government and party. They should be relieved and some others with clean images appointed in their place,” Panta said at the meeting. He suggested to the prime minister to evaluate the performance of ministers and recall those involved repeatedly in controversial activities .
Panta, who was chief political adviser to Madhav Kumar Nepal when he was prime minister a few years ago, suggested to Oli not to involve the Prime Minister's Office in awarding major contracts and not to bring major projects and the National Investigation Bureau under it.
Former Maoist leader Bhatta accused the government leadership of hiding information even from party leaders. “Even party leaders are in the dark about the activities of the government. If we know nothing about the government's functioning how can we disseminate its achievements to the grass-roots ?,” Bhatta said while talking to Republica about the meeting. He accused ministers of being engaged only in fending off criticism instead of sharing important achievements with the party rank and file.
Leader Bhim Acharya also blamed the government and the party leadership of not being transparent and democratic.
Indicating Province-5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel's remarks on his readiness to quit his government position to shoulder party responsibilities, leaders demanded strict enforcement of the policy concerning double responsibility for a single leader. Some party leaders airing their views at the meeting earlier criticized the top party leadership for giving double responsibility to certain leaders while leaving a large number of others with no responsibility at all. For instance, Chief Ministers Shankar Pokharel of Province 5 and Prithivi Subba Gurung of Gandaki Province are also party chiefs of their respective provinces .
Altogether eight leaders aired their views about the political document of party Chairpersons duo Oli and Dahal at Wednesday's meeting. Party Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the leaders were participating very sincerely in the political discussions at the standing committee meeting and this would continue on Thursday as well.