The most significant issue highlighted by Nepali and English broadsheet dailies published from Kathmandu on Friday is the meeting between CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and visiting Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj. The first meeting of Province 3 Assembly has also received significant attention as the practice of provincial legislature has formally begun in the country. Other revolving issues including parties’ preparations for the formation of provincial governments have also found space on the front page today.
Despite repeated claims of top leaders, the preparation for unification between CPN-UML and CPN-Maoist Centre has not moved ahead concretely and newspapers have paid a close attention to this issue as well.
Swaraj extends hand for cooperation to Oli
As the first formal engagement after landing in Kathmandu on a two-day visit, Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj held a meeting with CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli. Oli is often presented as an anti-Indian leader by Indian media, but he is preparing to lead the next government here. In this context, the meeting has received a wide attention from Nepali media.
Though Swaraj told journalists at the Tribhuvan International Airport that she did not have any specific agenda for the meeting and the two countries did not need any excuse to visit each other, the two-day trip in fact has some serious agendas, claims Rajdhani, adding the meeting is targeted at strengthening ties with the left alliance and its leader Oli in particular. Janata Post claims that Swaraj is in Kathmandu so as to bring the left alliance and the Madhsh-centric parties closer to each other. Swaraj also held a meeting with Madheshi leaders yesterday itself.
In the same line, Kantipur writes that New Delhi is watching activities of the left alliance closely as the previous Oli-led government promoted connectivity with China owing to the border blockade imposed by India.
Menawhile, during the 45-minute one-on-one meeting, Oli told the guest that Nepal wanted to move ahead in cooperation with its neighbours, according to Gorkhapatra. The one-on-one meeting was followed by a meeting with the group of UML leaders.
UML-Maoist Centre unification unlikely before new govt formation
The Himalayan Times anchor story for the day predicts that the proposed unification between two biggest communist parties of Nepal is unlikely before the new government formation.
A meeting of the Party Unification Coordination Committee held yesterday failed to reach any conclusion regarding the issue, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Janata Post also reports that the meeting failed to form task forces to iron out ideological differences between the parties and finalise the organisational model of new leaderships. Quoting UML leader Subas Chandra Nembang, the report says the task forces will be formed after a discussion between UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and his Maoist Centre counterpart Pushpa Kamal Dahal.
Govt hikes fuel prices
The government-owned Nepal Oil Corporation on Thursday decided to hike the price of all petroleum products except liquefied petroleum gas, according to Karobar.
With the latest adjustment, which came into effect from Thursday midnight, a litre of petrol has become one rupee costlier and diesel and kerosene cost Rs 2 more, according to the report.
The report quotes the Corporation’s spokesperson Birendra Goit to say that the price was increased owing to the change in international market and the new price list fixed by the Indian Oil Corporation which has been supplying fuel to Nepal.
Other newspapers have also covered the decision on the front page.
Over 100 factories shut in Morang-Sunsari in past 10 yrs
In past 15 years, more than 100 big factories in the Morang-Sunsari industrial area have been shut owing to the decade-long armed conflict and regular power outage, according to the lead story in Karobar. Other reasons have been listed as lack of skilled human resources, political intervention and competitive market.
There were more than 150 factories in the early 2000s whereas the number has now shrunk to around 50, the report informs.
All provinces to have govts by Feb 15
Gorkhapatra says the constitution requires that all seven provinces form their provincial governments within 30 days from the announcement of Provincial Assembly election results and hence all the provinces have the deadline of February 15 for the government formation.
So far, Province 3’s Assembly has held its first meeting on Friday whereas other provinces have scheduled the commencement of Assembly next week. Another story in the same paper informs that the Election Commission plans to announce the final results of House of Representatives elections by February 17.
Meanwhile, Kantipur anchor story for the day reports that two likely candidates for Province 3 Chief Minister—UML’s Ashta Laxmi Shakya and Rajendra Pandey—have expedited lobbying with the left alliance lawmakers.
Mouse leaves NAC plane grounded at TIA
A mouse has grounded a Nepal Airlines aircraft at the Tribhuvan International Airport on Thursday after the rodent was spotted running through the cabin on flight from New Delhi, reports The Himalayan Times. Quoting an anonymous source, the report says the Boeing 757 was grounded after a passenger reported that s/he reported the rodent scurrying around the place few minutes after it took off the New Delhi airport for Kathmandu.
Published on February 2nd, Friday, 2018 9:48 AM