Guthi Bill

KATHMANDU, June 19: On Tuesday, immediately after finishing his speech at a press conference in Singha Durbar, Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli was seen pointing fingers at Reporters’ Club Nepal President Rishi Dhamala and telling him something.

The video has gone viral in social media. What did the prime minister tell Dhamala?

PM Oli, on the eve of the massive gathering in protest of the Bill, had organized the press meet expressing concern over the main opposition party Nepali Congress’ activity in the parliament, who earlier had picketed the rostrum during a meeting of the House of Representatives and blocked the prime minister from addressing the meeting. The prime minister was supposed to brief about the parliament about his recent Europe visit and about the Guthi Bill.

The ruling Nepal Communist Party leaders have said NC’s activity at the parliament on Tuesday afternoon was an attack on the parliamentary practice.

Following the public pressure and NC obstruction, the Ministry for Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation earlier in the Tuesday afternoon had withdrawn the Guthi Bill which the government had registered at the National Assembly a few days ago.

It was a serious blow to the iron image of PM Oli who commands a two-third majority at the parliament. Although almost all the bills introduced by the government faced controversy and widespread protests, the Guthi Bill was the first instance of a withdrawal of a bill under pressure from the streets.

After finishing his speech, PM Oli was about to leave. When senior journalist Dhamala approached him, Oli pointed finger at him. He looked serious.

“Why did you say the bill attacked the tradition and culture?” Oli told Dhamala, who also hosts one of the most popular television talk show Janata Janna Chahanchan on Prime Times television.

PM Oli in the press meet had clarified that the Guthi Bill was introduced to protect the culture, religion and century-old tradition. He had further clarified that the proposal to form the Guthi Authority was not aimed at running the administration of Guthi property.

“It is not like that prime minister jyu,” Dhamala replied politely and smiling.

“I have seen the interviews,” Oli replied and left.

Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Ishwor Pokharel, who was also present at the meeting, smiled at Dhamala while Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa looked serious.

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