KATHMANDU, Feb 27: After the controversy over National Muslim Commission chairperson nominee Samim Miya Ansari's affiliation with ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), the party has written to the Election Commission to withdraw his name from the party's closed list of Proportional Representation (PR) candidates for the House of Representatives.
NCP General Secretary Bishnu Prasad Paudel wrote to the Election Commission on Monday to strike his name off the PR list a week after the Parliamentary Hearing Committee (PHC) sought details of Ansari's political affiliation from the EC.
According to a copy of the NCP letter obtained by Republica, Paudel has requested the commission to delete Ansari's name from the list of the party's PR candidates citing the decision of the party. He has attached a copy of NCP secretariat decision taken on February 22. Ansari had requested the party to withdraw his name from the PR list on the same date.
But former prime minister and senior secretariat member of the NCP Jhalnath Khanal claimed that the meeting hadn't taken the decision. “We are in the dark about the decision. The meeting didn't have that agenda and it never took the decision to withdraw his name from the PR list. I am surprised to hear this from the media,” Khanal told Republica. Another senior leader of the party accused the NCP leadership of making a forged letter in the favor of Ansari.
However, the Election Commission (EC) has informed the Parliamentary Hearing Committee (PHC) that Ansari's name has been mentioned at the 105th position in the PR candidate list of the NCP. Responding to the PHC's letter, seeking details from the EC about Ansari's political affiliation, the EC on February 22 has stated that Ansari's name is still at the 374th number of the central committee member of the NCP in its record.
According to the constitution and Muslim Commission Act, chief of the commission shouldn't be a member of any political party.
The PHC is likely to invite Ansari for hearing only next week after studying his documents. Meanwhile, the meeting of the PHC has been deferred again on Tuesday due to the lack of quorum. Although at least eight members (51 percent) must attend the meeting to meet the quorum only seven members appeared at the meeting on Tuesday.
Main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) leaders have been boycotting the meeting expressing dissatisfaction over the recommendations of various commissions head from the constitutional council ignoring their party president. In addition three NCP members including Surendra Pandey, Suman Raj Pyakurel and Shiva Narayan Mandal and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal member Rajendra Shrestha remained absent on Tuesday. So, the committee failed to conduct the hearings of two other commission head nominees due to lack of quorum.