From the Kathmandu Press: Sunday, August 4, 2019

Bamdev Gautam being asked by PM KP Sharma Oli to contest in the by-election in Kaksi-2 has been featured in a few newspapers along with news of PM Oli leaving for Singapore for his ‘medical check-up’. The news of the Prime Minister not attending the United Nations General Assembly has also made it to the front pages of a few national dailies.

Here’s a summary of important, ignored and interesting reports that made it to the front pages on Sunday.


Ruling and opposition parties search for Kaski-2 by-election

Nagarik and Republica reports that with the announcement of the date for the by-elections by the Election Commission, the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) have intensified their search for candidates in Kaski-2, the only constituency which has a vacant seat for the federal parliament after the death of Rabindra Adhikari.

Kaski-2, the constituency of late Tourism Minister who died in a helicopter accident in February, is slated to go for the by-elections together with other constituencies with vacant seats at local and provincial levels on November 30.

NCP veteran Bamdev Gautam and late Adhikari’s widow, Bidya Bhattarai, have been seen as the front runners for the seat from among half a dozen contenders, while one among Devraj Chalise and Soviet Bahadur Adhikari is the most likely candidate from NC.

Chalise, who had lost the election to Adhikari by a slim margin, is the party’s favourite, according to a senior NC leader. According to sources, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has urged Gautam, a party veteran, to contest the by-elections from the constituency.

PM leaves for Singapore

Gorkhapatra, Annapurna Post and The Himalayan Times report that Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has left for Singapore on Saturday night for his routine health check-up.

PM Oli is accompanied by his spouse Radhika Shakya, Chief Political Advisor Bishnu Rimal, and private doctor Dibya Singh Shah, among others, shared PM’s Press Coordinator Chetan Adhikari.

The PM will have his health checked at the National University Hospital, Singapore. PM Oli, who had undergone kidney transplant 12 years back, is on regular follow-up. PM’s check-up begins from Monday, and he is to stay at the hospital for a week. He is scheduled to return home next Friday.

PM Oli not to attend United Nations General Assembly

Republica reports that Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has decided not to attend the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), according to sources close to him.

The 74th session of the UNGA is scheduled to open on September 17, and the general debate will start from the 24th. Sources close to the PM have said that PM Oli who has already addressed the UNGA last year has decided not to attend the General Assembly because there are no new issue. Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali is likely to lead the Nepali delegation to the General Assembly, sources said.


File: Nepal’s Parliament building

Ministers continue to skip Q&A session

The Himalayan Times reports that ministers have been making a mockery of parliamentary regulation by not showing up at the House of Representatives to attend the question-answer session.

Except for the Minister of Industry, Commerce and Supplies, no minister has been present in the question-answer sessions in Parliament till date in the ongoing budget session, which has held at least 41 meetings since April 29.

Citizenship bill still suck in parliamentary committee

The Himalayan Times reports that the new citizenship bill is still stuck in the State Affairs and Good Governance Committee of the House of Representatives although the government had registered it in Parliament on August 7, 2018.

 Duped women continue to suffer despite coming back from China

The Kathmandu Post reports that Nepali women who were duped in China have not had it easy even though they have returned home. Most of them have filed complaints at the foreign employment department demanding compensation.

All 44 women had paid between Rs 60,000 and Rs 100,000 each to the Gaushala-based Compass Recruitment for their jobs at Chinese garment factory. However, when these women landed there, they found that they were duped. They were provided neither the promised job and facilities nor the monthly salary of $400. All the 44 women now want their money back from the respective agents and the Gaushala-based Compass Recruitment which had sent them to China.

Solukhumbu Multiple Campus to offer free mountaineering and tourism courses to 500 students

Annapurna Post reports that Solukhumbu Multiple Campus has decided to provide free mountaineering and tourism courses to nearly 500 students. The initiative is being undertaken by the Sir Edmund Hillary Foundation. The campus has started the Mechi-Kali initiative which aims to seek support from stakeholders throughout Nepal. The campus aims to educate over 500,000 people and wants to show the world that what a good public campus looks like. As of end of July over Rs 1.6 million has been collected so far.


Govt to go aggressive to control Biplav’s activities

Nagarik reports that the government has shown signs of taking strict measures to control Netra Bikram Chand-led Nepal Communist Party’s activities. Sources close to the government have said that the government had grown tired of waiting on Chand to hold talks and is preparing to go aggressive and arrest more leaders of the splinter group. Chand-led party had exploded 25 bombs across the country on Thursday.

TU appoints Service Commission chief

Kantipur reports that Tribhuvan University Service Commission has appointed Professor Lalu Prasad Paudel as its new chairman. He was appointed the chairman by PM KP Sharma Oli who is also the Vice-Chancellor. Similarly, Hemraj Dhakal has been appointed as a member of the commission. Both Dhakal and Paudel are close to ruling party. The two are yet to receive appointment letters.

Dhakal, Paudel and 10 other members of the commission have been accused of irregularities while appointing staff. The CIAA is looking into the case.

Bhaktapur – Nagarkot road: After criticism, contractors and stakeholders promise to complete road by December

File: Nagarkot

Gorkhapatra reports that the stakeholders Bhaktapur-Nagarkot have said it will complete the road by December. The contact to build the road was given to Sailung Construction Company (Nepali) and Arawali Infra Power (Indian) who have not built the road on time even though the tenure to complete the road was extended three times.

The Indian company had promised to build half of the road, but it yet to show up. Officials of Changunarayan Municipality have said that the main cause in the delay was due to the contractors. This has resulted in the cost increasing by Rs 43.50 million. As of now only 3 km of the 16 km long road has been black topped.

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