Politics

PM asked his secretariat team to resign: What’s cooking?

Ishwor Aryal

Oli

Kathmandu, 14 November (2019) – Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has asked 13 people in his secretariat and advisor team to tender their resignations.

Last Friday the PM called the team to his office and told them without mincing words that he wants to move ahead in a new way and everyone’s resignation is required for that.

“I’ll recall you if circumstances require, please make way for now,” an advisor quoted the PM’s words to Lokantar. “It is good if he wants to move ahead. We have provided him all kinds of support. We’ll help him by resigning from the post effective from 17 November.”

Following the PM’s instructions, Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal, Foreign Affairs Advisor Rajan Bhattarai, Public Relations Advisor Achyut Mainali, Press Advisor Kundan Aryal, IT Advisor Asghar Ali, Personal Advisor Indra Bhandari among others will resign from the post.

Accusations of leaking information

For the first time in Nepal’s history, the PM has asked his whole secretariat team to resign. What is the reason behind this drastic measure?

Of late, the secretariat has been accused of providing false information regarding PM’s health to the media. PM Oli was dissatisfied with the secretariat team as it had been leaking information without the PM’s consent.

A source close to the PM told Lokantar that the PM is of the view that different advisors have been leaking different information and this has built up negative impression of the PM among the common people.

“The PM had already arrived at the conclusion that there is a problem in the secretariat team and he was thinking about asking some of them to tender their resignation,” the source claimed. “But new events developed meantime. He himself became ill. He also discussed about this matter with co-chair of NCP Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda. Sensing an appropriate moment, he has now taken this step.”

Failed secretariat

A leader close to the PM accused the secretariat team as “unsuccessful”. “We had come to know that some of the team members had been selling information,” the source levelled a serious allegation. “Many members in the secretariat had failed to construct positive image of the government. They should have been asked to quit earlier. It’s too late now and the damage has been done.”

The advisors themselves have proven that they leak information. “PM changing his team is not unheard of,” the source said. “But this issue has been unnecessarily sensationalized in the media. Who leaked this information except these people? Why should they leak the information about their resignation?”

Wrong briefing

One of the advisors about to tender his resignation told Lokantar in condition of anonymity that the party cadres had wrongly briefed the PM. He said, “They are trying to project us as utter failures. They must have thought that they will get these posts once we quit.”

He claimed that the secretariat team had helped in constructing positive image of the government at national and international level but some interest groups are intent to defame the team.

Update: A source close to Baluwatar has told Lokantar that the PM has asked Chief Advisor Bishnu Rimal and Foreign Affairs Advisor Rajan Bhattarai to continue with their stint.

Translated by Bindesh Dahal

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