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Bhattarai’s one year in power

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Undeterred by the opposition’s criticisms, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has defended his government’s performance in the last one year. In his televised address from National Planning Commission Hall in Singha Durbar on Tuesday, Bhattarai highlighted his government’s works in the past year while repeatedly condemning opposition’s ‘irresponsible and reactionary’ politics.

He claimed that despite stiff opposition and lack of support on all fronts, his government has surpassed its predecessors in terms of taking the peace process and constitution writing to its decisive phase. There was evident annoyance in his tone, although characteristic calmness in expression when he came down heavily on the opposition and blamed them for betraying the consensus politics by refusing to compromise on broader issues including federalism and allowing the CA to dissolve.

“What can be more appaling than the fact that the parties which prevented the government’s proposal to extend the CA from being passed are the ones blaming the same government for its demise?”, he questioned, further asserting that ‘status quoist’ mind set of leaders in Nepali Congress and UML derailed the consensus and that history will judge their culpability. He also condemned the breakaway Baidya faction by calling them narrow-minded anarchist forces that are against peace.

Bhattarai lamented that the government has not been able to carry out its stated programs like Youth Self Employment program and ‘One village, one pond’ program that could help to bolster rural development due to ‘unreasonable’ protest against the full budget. He also expressed displeasure over disruption by opposition allied forces in government’s work and lauded his government’s success in carrying out road expansion to curb traffic jams. He further elaborated on the progress made in projects of national pride and his efforts to cut hours of load-shedding.

The Prime Minister also defended his decision to sign BIPPA with India and said similar agreement would be signed with China in the near future. He said protecting the foreign investments at home would create positive environment for future investments. “Such treaties are necessary if we want to achieve a double digit growth.” , he said.

Highlighting his foreign policy success, Bhattarai said that he was able to assert Nepal’s interests in his visit to New Delhi and made Nepal’s voice heard in the UN. He claimed Chinese Premier’s visit to Nepal after a long duration as one of the achievements and said Nepal must be ready to reap benefits of its strategic location between two economic giants.

Towards the end of his address, PM Bhattarai said that he is ready to quit office in favour of a forward looking consensus but questioned. “Who will take responsibility of the resulting power vacuum, if I resign in a fit of anger without offering an alternative?” He said the decision to call for another elections before CA’s dissolution offered a legitimate way out of the constitutional deadlock.

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