Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota has resigned in the wake of a controversy that leads to widespread scrutiny on the minister’s moral conduct.
Minister Baskota landed in controversy following the leak of an audio clip wherein he is heard bargaining for commission in the process of establishing the security printing press.
In the audio, Baskota is heard negotiating a Rs700 million “commission” with the local agent for a Swiss company, initially published by the online portal hamrakura.com.
Baskota, who was also the spokesperson for the KP Sharma Oli administration, took to social media to announce his resignation.
Meanwhile, the Public Accounts Committee of the House of Representatives has initiated action against Bijay Prakash Mishra and Prabhat Kishor Upadhyaya for maligning the names of the Committee’s lawmakers in the Baskota controversy.
Saying that the PAC members have been defamed in the controversy, the Committee wrote a letter to the Cyber Crime Bureau of Nepal Police to charge Mishra and Upadhyay with cybercrime.
The PAC members have accused Mishra of putting their reputation at stake by giving an interview to an online media while Upadhyay has been accused of posting demeaning content on Facebook targeting the lawmakers.
Similarly, the committee also demanded that the government halt the process of procuring the security printing press following the audiotape controversy.
Likewise, the embassy of Switzerland in Kathmandu yesterday said in a statement that it had not requested any meeting with Baskota.
The embassy said it was neither aware nor involved in any dealings of the person quoted as the local agent of a Swiss company.