KATHMANDU, SEPTEMBER 14

The Council of Ministers today recommended Vice-chair of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Bamdev Gautam for the vacant seat of the 59-member National Assembly.

Gautam will become a member of the Upper House of the Parliament after President Bidhya Devi Bhandari formally nominates him to the NA.

Earlier, the Standing Committee of the ruling party had decided to send Gautam to the NA.

The president, on recommendation of the government, nominates three persons to the NA. The president had already nominated two persons to the Upper House.

Gautam, who had expressed his desire to become a member of the Upper House months ago, was not recommended by the Council of Minister’s earlier due to intra-party rift within the NCP.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli wanted to recommend former finance minister Yubaraj Khatiwada to the NA, but since the party body decided to recommend Gautam for NA and Gautam also asked the PM to send him to the NA, the PM agreed to recommend him to the Upper House.

The PM decided to recommend Gautam to the NA also because recently Gautam floated a six-point proposal stating that the PM should not be removed from premiership before the tenure of the House of Representatives ends. He also said that Oli should be allowed to hold the post of party co-chair until the next General Convention of the party. Gautam’s proposal helped the PM neutralise his opponents who had asked him to step down either as PM or party co-chair.

The six-member task force of the ruling party suggested ways to resolve differences within the party.

The main resolution that the six-member task force suggested was on the lines of Gautam’s proposal.

Gautam had contested the last general election from his home constituency of Bardiya-1, but lost to Sanjay Kumar Gautam of the Nepali Congress.

Civil society members and some politicians have condemned the NCP for recommending Gautam to the NA.

They said the ruling party’s decision to recommend Gautam to the Upper House was against the wishes of the electorate, since Gautam had lost in the first-past-thepost election.


A version of this article appears in e-paper on September 15, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.


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