Opposition parties questioned the government’s performance as well as aptitude during an all-party meeting convened by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Tuesday to seek national consensus against regressive forces.
Leaders of the primary opposition party Nepali Congress along with Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal (JSP-N) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) sharply criticized the working style of Prime Minister Oli, who has been facing a backlash from within his ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP).
Political leaders present at the meeting almost unanimously said that monarchists were chanting slogans in the streets against the country’s republic, federal and secular status largely due to the government’s unsatisfactory working style.
At the beginning of the all-party meeting, Prime Minister Oli had sought suggestions regarding the recent protests by royalists and COVID-19. Oli also presented a long list of works done by the government in the prevention and control of COVID-19.
Leaders of NC and JSP-N were of the view that the citizens were frustrated due to the government’s regression, delays, protection of irregularities, failure in control and prevention of COVID-19, the Prime Minister’s controversial remarks and his weak working style.
They also demanded the immediate convening of the winter session of the Parliament.
Oli, however, responded to the oppositions’ criticism at the end by saying that backlash against the government was fabricated, adding, “My friends, you should also be attentive that such false allegations undermines the development of the constitution and the system.”
Prime Minister Oli, who is also the co-chair of NCP, had initially targeted other party presidents Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal for their activities.
He said that royalists got the opportunity to protest due to NCP’s intra-party rift as well as NC’s activities and not because of the government’s weakness.
Though senior leaders including Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Jhala Nath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal were present at the meeting, they did not get a chance to speak.
Only RPP leader Deepak Bohara had a different opinion in the meeting. Stating that his party was in favor of constitutional monarchy and Hindu state, he said that he had supported the street protests.
For some time now, RPP has been supporting demonstrations in various parts of the country demanding the restoration of the monarchy and the Hindu state.
Meanwhile, NC leader Ram Chandra Poudel said that the royalists had seized the opportunity to protest also due to the President’s display of affluence. “Forgetting the reasons for abolishing monarchy, the President’s show-off and pomp contributed in inviting today’s situation,” Poudel said.
He also slammed Prime Minister Oli and his own party president Sher Badhaur Deuba for failing to appoint constitutional commissions for a long time. “Why don’t you make the right choice in a transparent manner and appoint official at vacant posts of constitutional bodies?”
Poudel also lashed out at Oli, saying that the PM had made a baseless remark that Ayodhya was located in Madi just to irritate India.
Similarly, JSPN-N chair Upendra Yadav told Oli that royalists were active in the streets due to the government’s failure. He argued that royalists got the opportunity to protest because Oli himself had undermined federalism ever since becoming the prime minister.
“The current street protests do not mean that the federal democratic republic has failed. It means that the Oli-led government has failed,” Yadav said.
NC president Deuba, on the other hand, attended the meeting without presenting any opinion.
At the end of the meeting, stating that he welcomed the oppositions’ criticism, Prime Minister Oli said, “The government accepts your criticism but many of the allegations are baseless and they will only escalate hatred towards the system, let’s focus on that.”
This is the third all-party meeting convened by Oli since becoming the Prime Minister for the second time.