State 2 minister joins protest against holiday ‘defiance’Province 2 Minister for Internal Affairs and Law Gyanendra Kumar Yadav is on a mission to enforce public holidays to all and sundry.
Province 2 Minister for Internal Affairs and Law Gyanendra Kumar Yadav is on a mission to enforce public holidays to all and sundry.
A week after he padlocked the main gate of Nepal Rastra Bank in Janakpur, Dhanusha, for ‘defiance of public holiday’ on Rakshya Bandhan festival, Yadav joined a sit-in protest outside the bank on Sunday, this time for remaining open on Krishna Janmashtami.
The NRB officials argue that since the central bank comes under aegis of the federal government, they are not obliged to follow the public holidays announced by the state government.
Minister Yadav disapproves, though. He is of the view that the public holidays announced by the provincial government is not a matter of choice. He is willing to go all the way to make sure every institution remains closed on public holidays.
A Cabinet meeting of Provincial 2 government on Thursday had announced a public holiday on Janmashtami. The decision was also communicated to the NRB, the District Administration Office, the District Court, and the High Court. While the two courts followed the public holiday order, NRB and the District Administration Office remained open on Sunday, much to the vexation of Minister Yadav and the supporters of various Madhes-centric parties.
A mob assembled outside the NRB office and began protesting against the alleged insolence displayed by the bank. When police intervened and rounded 12 protesters from the site, Minister Yadav himself joined the protest.
Chief District Officer Premlal Lamichhane, Superintendent of Police Govinda Thapaliya and Superintendent of Armed Police Force Raju Pandey reached the incident site and tried to convince the agitating minister to end the protest. The latter, however, set the conditions of freeing the detained protesters and closing the bank.
The protesters were freed, as demanded by Minister Yadav, but NRB Manager Naresh Shakya refused to close the bank without the centre’s express instruction.
The minister staged the sit-in outside the bank till 5pm.
“We were forced to stage the sit-in as the law of the provincial government was defied. Attempts were made to end federalism by ignoring the decision of the provincial government,” he said while addressing the protest.
CDO Lamichhane told the Post that provincial and federal governments must be clear about the issue of public holidays. “Somehow this has become a political issue. The federal and provincial governments should resolve this dispute. We want an environment where we can carry out our daily duties without any hassles,” he said.