Who did Baskota refer to as ‘we’ in the audiotape? Deuba asks

Published On: March 2, 2020 08:19 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Mar 2: Main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) President Sher Bahadur Deuba has flayed the government for not probing the controversial audiotape related to former minister Gokul Baskota. The former prime minister also demanded that the government disclose the other individuals mentioned by Baskota in the audiotape. 

In the audiotape, which was leaked to the media last month, Baskota is heard negotiating for Rs 700 million bribe for procuring a security printing press for the country. In the audiotape Baskota is also heard saying “how much will we get?” 

Who did Baskota refer to as ‘we in the audiotape? asked Deuba speaking at the parliament meeting on Sunday Deuba. He criticized Prime Minister KP Oli for defending Baskota instead of launching a probe into the scandal. 

“It has been a week since an audio tape of former minister Baskota came to public notice. In the tape, he is heard of demanding Rs 700 million as bribe. The intention of the government in this issue is worrisome because it has not probed the issue yet,” said the opposition leader. 

Baskota stepped down from the position of Minister for Communication and Information Technology last week amid public outrage following the leakage of his audio tape. 

However, Prime Minister Oli stood in defense of his confidant Baskota and said Thursday that the audiotape was not proven to be Baskota’s and the bribery case was not established. “The prime minister said that the audiotape was fake even before probing the issue. I wonder such statement could affect the probe,” said Deuba. 

Deuba also dismissed the Nepal Trust white paper which has implicated his government for the decision to lease out the Trust’s prime land at Tahachal to Yeti Group at a low price. He claimed that he was not involved in any decision to lease out the Trust’s land to a private firm. 

Deuba also urged the government to take all necessary precautions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country stating that the virus has already spread to over 50 countries.

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