Rift between Kathmandu and Province 2 widens

Published On: June 23, 2018 07:53 AM NPT By: Suresh Yadav

JANAKPUR, June 23: The already troubled relations between Kathmandu and the government of Province 2 have further soured lately after the federal government allegedly intervened in the affairs of the provincial government against the spirit of federalism.

The federal government last week irked the provincial ministers when it transferred the secretaries of the provincial government allegedly without consulting the province.

“The federal government wants to make the provincial government unsuccessful. At a time when our law and finance ministries were busy formulating plans for the fiscal year budget, the federal government transferred our top officials without consulting us,” said Law Minister Gyanendra Kumar Yadav at a function on Wednesday. The federal government has transferred the secretaries of all the ministries of the provinces. While some secretaries are being transferred between the ministries of the provinces, others have been transferred to ministries at the center. The provincial government has already unveiled its budget and is awaiting approval from the provincial assembly. 

Earlier, the federal government canceled a trip to the USA by Chief Minister Lal Babu Raut, stating that it was inappropriate for him to go on a foreign trip when the province needed to prepare its budget.

On Thursday, Chief Minister Raut issued a letter to the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration in Kathmandu, criticizing the recent transfer of secretaries. He said the transfers have hampered essential work.

He has asked the federal authorities to compulsorily consult the provincial government before taking such decisions. The chief minister has also notified the prime minister’s office and the council of ministers about the matter.

Similarly, the provincial government recently endorsed a Provincial Police Act in line with the new constitution. “The federal government does not want the provincial governments to set up their own police services for now. Province 2 went ahead with the provincial police legislation at a time when the other provinces have not even initiated discussions over such matters, and this has dismayed the federal government,” said a secretary of the provincial government who did not what to be named.

Attorney General of Province 2 Dipendra Jha said the provincial government endorsed the police act as envisioned in the new constitution.

The relations between the federal government and the provincial government had soured earlier after Raut criticized the constitution and the government in a speech in Janakpur in front of visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May. Raut came under censure for discussing the internal matters of the country with foreign officials in breach of diplomatic protocol.

Before that, the chief minister had criticized the federal government for not deputing a sufficient number of civil servants to run the provincial government.


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