Maoist ministers told to mend waysThe UCPN (Maoist) has warned its ministers either to improve their working style and performance or face action.
The UCPN (Maoist) has warned its ministers either to improve their working style and performance or face action.
The UCPN (M), a coalition partner in the incumbent government, of late has been courting criticism—from within the party and outside—for failing to transform the party, for not being able to clean the house and also for the leadership’s laissez faire approach when it comes to reining in its ministers.
During Monday’s Central Committee meeting, the party, concluding that its performance has been dismal, issued a strong warning to its ministers: Shape up or ship out. The warning comes hot on the heels of Home Minister Shakti Basnet’s move of sending daughters and party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s granddaughter to China to attend an earthquake-related programme.
Some CC members were so enraged that they even demanded that the party call Basnet back from the government. Accusing Basnet of promoting nepotism, the CC members sought “self-criticism” from him.
In response, Basnet confessed that he had made a mistake. “I had instructed the secretariat with the task of preparing the list of members for the China delegation. When I checked the list, it too late; it was not possible to make changes,” CC member Hemraj Bhandari quoted Basnet as telling the CC. “Basnet apologised for his mistake,” said Bhandari.
The party has said if other ministers continue to make such mistakes, they will be recalled from government.
Though Home Minister Basnet was the main target during Monday’s CC meeting, other Maoist ministers were also heavily criticised.
Most of the ministers were accused of promoting nepotism, violating party’s code of conduct and failing to bring out people-oriented programmes. According to the CC members, the Maoist ministers have “failed to do anything substantial” after joining the government.
According to sources, Minister for Energy Top Bahadur Rayamajhi faced charges that he was spending minimum time in ministerial work and doing nothing to decrease load shedding hours.
Minister for Supply Ganesh Man Pun was flayed for failing to manage fuel crisis.
Censuring Pun for his inaction to curb black-mareketeering, the CC members also asked him why there was sluggish progress in signing the much-hyped oil deal with China.
During Monday’s meeting, Devi Khadka, Urmila Aryal, Salikram Jammakattel, Jhakku Prasad Subedi, Ghana Shyam Yadav, Hem Raj Bhandari and Janardan Sharma came down heavily on the ministers.
The UCPN (M) has eight ministers in the incumbent CPN-UML government.
Besides its performance in the government, the UCPN (M) is also facing criticism from leaders for making no efforts to address the demands of Madhesis, Janajatis and other marginalised communities. After Chairman Dahal and ministers were inundated with criticism, the CC meeting was postponed for a week.
Dahal said he would be busy in talks with Madhes-based parties for about a week.
Dahal’s political document presented at the CC two weeks ago also has failed to impress party leaders. This is the first CC meeting after Baburam Bhattarai and his supporters left the party in September.
All CC members have already aired their views on Dahal’s document, which will be endorsement next week.
Soon after joining the government, the UCPN (M) had issued 23-point code of conduct in order to ensure that the Maoist ministers will work for the people and society. The code of conduct bars ministers from appointing their kin and kith in the secretariat, which has not been implemented.
Similarly, the code of conduct also calls on ministers to spend seven hours (10am to 5pm) at their respective offices, which have been grossly violated. The party had also told the ministers to make efforts to resolve the Tarai crisis.
To oversee the party’s performance while being in the government, the UCPN (M) has also formed a committee led by party Vice-Chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha. But he decided to step down after the Maoist ministers failed to accomplish their tasks.
- Promoting nepotism
- Sending daughters and chairman’s granddaughter to China on a visit
Top Bahadur Rayamajhi
- Spending minimum time in ministerial work
- Doing nothing to decrease load shedding hours
Ganesh Man Pun
- Failing to manage fuel crisis and inaction to curb black-mareketeering
- Delay in signing oil deal with China