Question CM Raut’s words
Freedom of expression
Security arrangements during Modi’s visit
KATHMANDU, May 14: Pampha Bhusal, spokesperson of CPN (Maoist Center) was one of the many parliamentarians who questioned security arrangements and civic felicitation during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit on May 11 and 12.
Bhusal questioned the government’s security capabilities as Modi brought his entourage, including his own security personnel during the visit. “If the government is unable to provide security for its guests, why do we have to call them?” Bhusal questioned. Parliamentarians also questioned words of Lal Babu Raut, chief minister of Province 2 during the civic felicitation.
Province 2 Chief Minister (CM) Lalbabu Raut had criticized the country’s constitution and the government during his speech in front of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Janakpur last week. At the function, Raut argued that the constitution promulgated in 2015 was discriminatory against Madhesi people and that they were still denied the rights of a provincial government as enshrined in the new constitution.
In turn, parliamentarians expressed their concerns to what extent Nepal’s internal issues and policies are to be shared to a guest.
Likewise, Nepali Congress leader Milendra Rijal also expressed reservations over CM Raut’s words during civic felicitation. Referring to police intervention at Bibeksheel Sajha Party’s office in Lalitpur, Rijal also condemned the government’s decision to encroach freedom of expression during Modi’s visit. He added, while the country forced the King to abdicate, it still was plagued with ‘royal’ mentality.
“The government oppressed conflicting voices and we need to ask ourselves, is it constitutional or not,” Rijal said.
Likewise, Durga Paudel, parliamentarian from Rastriya Jana Morcha expressed concerns over barring Nepali journalists to cover Modi’s visit. On May 12, Chief Minister of Province 4, Prithvi Subba Gurung had expressed dissatisfaction with visiting Indian PM Narendra Modi and his entourage at Muktinath Temple.
Gurung expressed dissatisfaction after Indian media took footage of the temple and went live on their television channels despite prohibitory orders.