SPN still in dilemma over continued participation in govt

Published On: November 15, 2019 08:53 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

SPN leader Baburam Bhattarai has lambasted the government for showing total disregard to the coalition partner while taking an important decision like mass dismissal of provincial governors.

KATHMANDU, Nov 15: Baburam Bhattarai, the federal council chairman of the Samajwadi Party Nepal (SPN), has said his party should quit the government if the government continued to ignore calls for constitutional amendment.

He, however, pointed to the need for serious discussion with the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) before reaching to such a decision.

“The party should push forward the demand for revision of the constitution in line with the two-point agreement, and the party's central working committee should move ahead with a decision to pull out from the government if the process is not taken forward,” Bhattarai said in a document presented at the maiden national gathering of the party's federal council held at the Nepal Academy Hall in Kathmandu on Thursday.

Bhattarai was referring to an accord between the NCP and the erstwhile Federal Socialist Party Nepal to amend the constitution before the latter joined the government last year.

SPN leaders have repeatedly threatened to quit the government if there is continued rebuff of the demand for constitution amendment, but this is the first time the ties with the government entered as an agenda in the party.

Leaders said that Bhattarai's remarks, much softer than his usual views on the government, have signaled that 'the party will remain in the government for some time to come'.

Despite Bhattarai's critical opinion about the government, SPN Chairman Upendra Yadav, a deputy prime minister and health minister in the incumbent cabinet, does not appear keen to walk out of the government at the moment.

In the 25-page document, Bhattarai has lambasted the Oli government for showing total disregard to the coalition partner while taking an important decision like mass dismissal of provincial governors.

The document, criticized by some leaders of his own party for its paradoxical views, has also denounced the ruling party on numerous grounds, notably for bad governance, corruption, apathy to rights of minority groups and authoritarian tendencies. NCP remains 'devoid of ideological clarity and is headed toward the path of decay', Bhattarai has said in the document.

Bhattarai, also sharply critical of Nepali Congress, has taken positive attitude toward Bibeksheel Nepali and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal, the fourth largest party in the federal parliament with which SPN jointly runs government in Province 2.

“Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) is a democratic party committed to the national identity and rights. We share a lot of similarities with the party,” Bhattarai has said, stressing the need for taking the proposed merger with the party to a logical end. Interestingly, Bhattarai appears softer than Yadav on his views in relation to the RJPN.

Bhattarai has also spent significant time describing his own party, its ideology, and goals. Describing the party as the only force true to the cause of the Nepali people irrespective of caste, class, religion and gender, Bhattarai has claimed that the entire county would fail if the party failed to achieve its stated goals.

Leaders said that the agendas endorsed through the federal council would be discussed in the central committee meeting scheduled for Friday and Saturday.

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