Two major stories that have been highlighted in the Kathmandu press on Monday are the Supreme Court order to postpone the distribution of funds under the Constituency Development Programme and ongoing discussions within the left alliance to distribute key positions as they are preparing to lead the federal as well as six of seven provincial governments. A jeep accident in Sankhuwasabha of eastern Nepal has also been covered in the front page by many newspapers. Other contemporary political, socio-cultural and financial issues have also received significant attention in the front pages of newspapers published from the capital today.
UML, Maoist Centre close to deal on chief ministers, provincial speakers
Rajdhani claims that the CPN-UML and the CPN-Maoist Centre, which contested recent provincial and federal parliamentary elections jointly and claim to be heading towards the party unification, are close to an understanding to share vital provincial government positions including chief ministers and provincial ministers. The left alliance has majority seats in six of seven provincial assemblies; therefore they will get six chief ministerial and six speakers’ positions.
Quoting Maoist leader Barsha Man Pun, the report says the UML will lead governments in provinces 1 and 3 whereas the two parties are likely to adopt a rotational leadership model in provinces 4, 5, 6 and 7.
But, Kantipur says the parties are yet to make the final deal, adding the Maoist Centre has proposed that it will get chief ministers in two provinces and speakers in four other provinces. The Maoist proposal says if the UML leads the provincial government, the legislature in that province should be led by the Maoist Centre and vice versa.
However, the UML says it has to get four chief ministers and four provincial speakers.
Meanwhile, Nepal Samacharpatra reports that absence of UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli has delayed the proposed unification process between two parties. Gorkhapatra, on the other hand, says the two parties have agreed to expedite the unification negotiations after Oli will return from Bangkok.
Oli is scheduled to come back tomorrow, but the schedule might change, according to Nepal Samcharpatra.
The Kathmandu Post also carries a similar story.
Supreme Court orders postponement of constituency development programmes
The Supreme Court on Sunday issued an interim order, putting on hold the government’s decision to spend up to Rs 10 billion under the Constituency Infrastructure Programme and Constituency Development Programme, reports The Himalayan Times lead story.
Earlier, CPN-UML lawmaker Jhapat Bahadur Rawal had filed a case demanding the postponement of programmes. A division bench of justices Sharada Prasad Ghimire and Ishwar Prasad Khatiwada passed the order as demanded by the plaintiff, the report says quoting Rawal’s lawyer Tikaram Bhattarai.
The bench also directed the government to write to all 77 districts to postpone implementation of the programmes, according to Abhiyan.
The Kathmandu Post says the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government had faced mounting criticism for its decision to continue with the programmes even with the elections of new parliamentarians.
Officials work in cahoots with contractors in big construction works
Nagarik and Republica have reported today that officials of various ministries and departments are working with a handful of construction entrepreneurs and they most of the times grant contracts to the contractors who bribe them.
The reports name six construction companies in particular which win contracts for most of big development projects in the country. They include: Sharma and Company of Ramesh Sharma, Kalika Construction of Bikram Pandey, Swachchhanda Nirman Sewa of Jaya Ram Lamichhane, Lama Construction of Jip Tshering Lama, Rasuwa Construction of Mohan Acharya and Tundi Construction of Rishi Subedi.
Left alliance likely to win 43 seats in upper House
The Himalayan Times says the left alliance consisting the UML and the Maoist Centre are likely to win 43 of 56 positions for which the elections will be held on February 7. The two parties have also agreed that the UML and the Maoist Centre will filed 29 and 14 candidates respectively, according to the report.
Meanwhile, Naya Patrika has listed our leaders of CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Centre and Nepali Congress for National Assembly membership.
Govt distributes Rs 165 million to party cadres after polls
Nagarik lead story for the day says the government has distributed around Rs 165 million in 18 days after the conclusion of provincial and federal parliamentary elections. The money is provided to as many as 873 leaders and cadres of ruling parties in the name of ‘financial aid’.
Meanwhile, the report quotes an official of the Ministry of Home Affairs who says the ministry, though being an implementer of such decisions, cannot stop them as they are decided by the Cabinet.
31 couples work at same office
Kantipur lead story for the day reports that the Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training (CTEV), a government body formed to develop and regulate technical education in the country, has been used by senior officials and trade union leaders as a medium to find jobs for their family members and relatives.
Of total staff employed at the office currently (932), around 14 per cent are relatives of officials and leaders, the report says. Multiple sources have revealed that more than 130 are related to each other. Of them, 31 are husbands-wives.