KATHMANDU, Oct 8: Even though the top leaders of major left parties CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) have claimed that the left parties allied to form a single communist center in future, some high placed sources have claimed that Nepal’s top energy trader Deepak Bhatta played a middle-man role in bringing together the left parties.
Sources also claim that Bhatta has tipped worth billions of rupees so as to sway UML and Maoist Center leaders to move forward the Budigandaki Hydropower Project. According to sources, China’s Gezhouba Group Corporation has released about three billion rupees to turn the project in its favor.
Pushpa Kamal Dahal led-caretaker government on May 23, had in principle, decided to entrust the 1200-megawatt Budigandaki project to the Gezhauba Group. Following the cabinet’s decision, the then Energy Minister Janardan Sharma had signed a Memorandum of Understanding in that regard on June 4. But the Chinese firm has been questioned for its lack of transparency.
Last month, a joint meeting of the parliament’s Agriculture and Water Resources Committee and Finance Committee has instructed the government to halt the process of allowing China Gezhouba Group Corporation citing that the mega project was awarded to the Chinese group without going for competition and by violating the Public Procurement Act.
The decision to sign the MoU by the caretaker government had drawn flak from various political parties including Baburam Bhattarai-led Naya Shakti Party Nepal. Bhattarai had demanded that the government immediately terminate the contract regarding the project citing that it was against the national interest. However, Bhattarai appears mum in this regard since UML, Maoist Center and Naya Shakti jointly announced electoral alliance and unity process earlier this week.
UML leader Bamdev Gautam and Home Minister Janadran Sharma have also been drawn into it by agent Bhatta, according to sources. Gautam close Bhatta is the local agent of Gezhouba Group. He has been doing business with Nepal Army, Nepal Police and Nepal Electricity Authority.