Pokhara, September 17
Gandaki’s Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung has accused the federal government of mistaking a joint effort of all provincial governments made about effective implementation of federalism for an alliance formed against the government.
Gurung’s statement follows Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s decision to indefinitely defer the meeting of Inter-province Council, a constitutional body that consists of himself and chief ministers of states.
It has also been learned that the Prime Minister has been avoiding meetings with individual chief ministers as well after the chief ministers held a meeting in Pokhara days before the Council meeting so as to prepare the agendas jointly.
Gurung, who led the joint meeting as the Chief Minister of host province, says, “We came together to a single forum to assist the federal government, to offer our suggestions. But, the central government thought it was an alliance against them.”
He says such meetings will continue despite the apparent dissatisfaction in the Prime Minister. “This is a beginning of the continuity. We will meet every three or four months. Every province will organise it in turn.”
Gurung defends, “Federalism is the system of conversations and cooperation. We need to learn about the problems more to solve them more effectively.”
He also suggests that the central government organise the Inter-province Council meeting at the earliest. “Postponing the meeting has not increased the prestige of federal government. Rather it has delayed implementation of federalism.”
He demands that the central government also formulate laws guiding activities of provincial governments at the earliest.