Just a month ago, in an effort to patch up between the two top leaders Oli and Dahal, other senior leaders of the NCP managed to persuade Oli to give an undertaking that all decisions will be taken in consultation with the Party. Dr. S. Chandrasekharan specially for the South Asia Analysis.
But Oli, confident of Chinese support is said to have had no inclination to follow the undertaking. Top ambassadorial appointments as well other senior positions like that of Chief Secretary were announced by PM’s Office without consultations with the Party. Soon a cabinet reshuffle is to take place and Oli is expected to announce it without consulting his party colleagues either!
Yet Oli is said to be discussing with the Opposition leader on the Constitutional appointments as is mandated under the Constittuion.
All this is happening while Oli has been meeting Dahal once in two days on many issues relating to the Party but the appointments were never raised by Oli. Dahal is said to be furious.
Meanwhile, the number of infections of Covid-19 is said to rising steadily in the State and Oli’s Government does not seem to have an exit strategy Infections have now entered in a big scale in the valley. With the Dashain and Tihar festivals coming soon, the infections are expected to rise.
The PM’s close Advisers almost six of them including the Foreign Policy Adviser Bhattarai have been tested Covid Positive. Over 8260 Security Personnel have been tested positive so far.
As of today, a total of 89263 cases were reported of whom 65202 have recovered. There have been 554 deaths so far. It is said that numbers could be more than what is officially given as “confirmed Cases” as there has so far been very limited testing. The Government has also announced that PCR tests will be conducted only on those exhibiting symptoms of the infection.
Those migrants in Gulf are stuck for the time being, having been caught between cruel employees in the Gulf and the heartless homeland!
K.P. Oli who once claimed home remedies for the Covid (Wuhan) infection is said to be confined to his official residence and has not visited his office at Singha Durbar for a long time. He has been tested negative but is afraid to go anywhere.
Oli’s efforts to get Bam Dev Gautham by first nominating him to the National Assembly have also been frustrated by the Supreme Court that gave an interim order that Gautham should not be inducted into the Cabinet or given any Constitutional position until the caseon the constitutional propriety is fully heard in the court. While it is said that Oli has been taken by surprise, to me it looks that Oli made the deliberate move to take Gautham on his side in his feud with Dahal knowing fully well that it would be constitutionally invalid!
Meanwhile, a fresh controversy has arisen over the import of Russian vaccine. Having been accused of blundering in the purchase of testing kits from a notorious company in China with two of Oli’s Ministers (Banubhakta Dhakal and Iswar Pokhrel) already facing allegations, it was thought that the Government would be more careful in importing the vaccines. But it was not to be.
A little known Private firm Trinity Pharmaceuticals has been allowed to enter into a contract with the Russian Direct Investment fund to import 25 million doses (not a small quantity)
Normally in the large scale purchase of such drugs, it would be the Government that should enter into a contract but here, a little known company has been given the task. It is not clear as to who suggested this firm and who are likely to benefitted by this purchase.
Secondly, the Russian vaccine has yet to undergo phase III of the trials. It is still uncertain whether the vaccine really works and its efficacy rate and side effects are yet to be confirmed.
Thirdly, the local rule mandates that the company should approach the Drug administration with all the necessary documents to get its clearance. This has not been done. One commentator has described that the Government’s lackadaisical and nonchalant approach towards the most pressing public concern as “condemnable.”
But Oli sure of his position does not seem to care about it.