Centralization of power and subversion of democracy: Dr. Shekhar Koirala

KATHMANDU, Nov 2: The main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) senior leader and central working committee member Dr. Shekhar Koirala has stated that “there is no reason for the Prime Minister (PM) to resign due to his health. He has made it clear that he is against the idea of the PM’s resignation and not in favor of it.

Speaking to senior Journalist and President of the Reporters Club Rishi Dhamala in the program Nepali Radio Network titled “Nepali Bahas” (Nepali Debate) Dr. Koirala also extended his best wishes to the PM and wished him a speedy recovery.

In the program, he also said that “since I am a medical doctor I am well aware of the PM’s health condition and that there is no reason for him to resign although due to constant dialysis slight weakness may be present. He can perform the procedure in his official residence if need be. If the PM feels that he is strong enough to keep working then he should be allowed to continue, he only needs to change his lifestyle”.

Dr. Koirala further stated “only if the PM feels unwell and does not carry out his duties that he is required to do then that is a different case, but just due to his health reason for him to resign is not necessary. If he gets good guidance from his Ministers and continues actively performing his duties then that is the most important role, and he should stay on and work”.

In the program journalist, Dhamala brought up the issue of factionalism that has plagued the NC to which Dr. Koirala responded by stating that “our term is about to end, and there will be a convention to elect new leaders.

“NC will unite as one party, and there will be an end to factionalism as now the situation demands merit, and if a leader is capable then he will be elected, gone are the days when people used to vote because they were a part of one faction”.

All the internal units of the party consisting of the various student wings will unite to work together to elect new leaders. He was hopeful that Congress will do well in the coming by-elections and that the people were serious about saving the party.

“There are specific phases in politics, and Nepali Congress has played a vital role in bringing democracy and its practice. Currently people within the party understand that there is a dire need to save the party from sliding further down, there is an intention toward saving the party, not the leader, if NC survives, then the nation survives, and when the nation survives we survive, that is the general notion of our party workers, and this mindset has begun to sink in the minds of our workers.

When asked about whether he was in favor of shielding Mohammed Aftab Alam a member of the House of Representatives from the NC the main accused in the brick kiln murder case, Dr. Koirala replied, “I am not in favor of shielding anyone. Let the law take its course and an impartial investigation take place into the crime. I am in favor of what the law holds to be true. Nepali Congress will accept the verdict given by the court in this case”.

Talking about the current work of the ruling Nepali Communist Party (NCP) Dr. Koirala stated that “this government is playing a game that is undermining democracy. It is refusing constitutional supremacy and has not fully accepted the separation of power.

The judiciary is intolerant while the sword hangs over the Judge’s neck. Our human rights and press freedom are in a state of disrepair. It is throttling the media with the Media Council Bill, and through the National Security Council decision the PM is taking hold of utilizing the Nepal Army.

These aspects that have come forward are weakening democracy, and when democratic rights are not strengthened then the Nation will never prosper. There is no alternative to democracy, and this government is trying to finish it off”. Finally, Dr. Koirala also extended his greetings and wishes on the occasion of the Chhath festival.