July 19, 2018 02:00 AM NPT
Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli is displaying arrogance at the level that does not suit the head of democratically elected government. He wants people and his party to defend every action of the government—good or bad—and is becoming intolerant to criticism. He seems to have surrounded himself with coterie of ‘yes men’ who misinform him or tell him only what he wants to hear. How else do we understand Prime Minister’s insensitivity to public opinion? Evidently, he has failed to implement some of the best decisions his government announced in the first months in office. Instead, his government is taking one unpopular decision after another—imposing additional taxes on internet services, granting presidential pardon to murder convict and most egregiously showing utter indifference to the just cause of reforms in medical education for which Dr Govinda KC has been putting his life on the line. Prime Minister has become unpopular largely because of his own doing and yet he expects media, people and his party members to defend him. This is absurd.
Prime Minister Oli warned his party members to defend government’s works on Tuesday. He came down heavily on party leaders and cadres for not defending “good works” of his government and not tackling criticism by the opposition. During a meeting with party leaders and cadres at the party office in Dhumbarahi, Oli told them to publicize government’s good works, while at the same time indicating that he won’t address Dr KC’s demands. He was angry with party ranks for not defending “progressive and people-centric policies” of his government. In his reckoning, the government has been doing good work but no one is defending it. Prime Minister is being unfair to people and his cadres. It bears reminding him that when his government decided to end syndicate and cartel in public transport, he had been praised by the people. The initiatives he took in closing political affairs office of the UN had gone down well and he had been rightly appreciated for the move.
He has come under heavy criticism in the recent times because he is failing to deliver on earlier promises and failing to fix most basic things like garbage management, filling potholes of Kathmandu roads among others. Most importantly, people have stood against the government because it is ignoring saintly figure like Dr KC and has been arbitrarily detaining people (vice-chancellor of Sanskrit University and a doctor of National Trauma Center). Prime Minister has been displaying authoritarian tendencies, which is why opposition party, people and media have opposed him. He should reflect on where he went wrong and immediately mend ways of governing the country. Make no mistake, in a democracy a government is judged based on whether it works to fulfill aspirations of general public, not based on how strong the party is or the amount of support it gets in the parliament. The moment the prime minister starts to deliver, there will be praises for him all around.