Deuba’s loose tongue: Congress in hot soup

Ishwor Aryal


Kathmandu, 25 November (2019) – Sher Bahadur Deuba, President of the chief opposition party Nepali Congress, hogs the limelight for all the wrong reasons.

Recently he defended Mohammad Aftab Alam who has been accused of burning the wounded victims alive at the time of elections. That defence invited scorn on his party Nepali Congress.

Hot on the heels of that controversy, Deuba has now uttered another bombshell statement. Addressing an election rally in Pokhara, Deuba said that PM KP Sharma Oli colluded with the Indian government to release a political map that encroaches upon Nepali territory.

On Saturday, Deuba levelled such a serious allegation against PM Oli about India’s latest cartographic aggression.

The onus of proving the allegation lies on Deuba otherwise it will be taken as attacking the PM under the belt for electoral gains.

Deuba has gone to PM’s official residence at Baluwatar many times after India released the controversial map. He also attended the all-party meeting called upon by PM Oli on building consensual voice regarding the Indian map.

Congress leaders themselves have accepted that the PM showed admirable patriotic spirit in the meeting. But Deuba has now cast aspersion against the PM and this allegation has invited questions on Deuba himself as well as other leaders in the opposition.

Deuba’s U-turn

The all-party meeting to discuss India’s new map arrived at the conclusion that India had shown condescending attitude by incorporating Nepali territory within its map. PM Oli in that meeting had asked the support of the opposition party to solve this issue diplomatically.

Right after the meeting Deuba tweeted that his party will provide full support to the government to return all territories of Nepal with high-level diplomatic and political engagement.

But forgetting his commitment to support the government in the matter of national interest, Deuba has dragged the PM into controversy. It has belittled his political standing and also reduced his credibility. If Deuba fails to prove his offhand remarks, his party Nepali Congress will have to pay a heavy price.

Congress leader Shekhar Koirala has reacted that he is surprised with Deuba’s statement.

PM Oli has publicly urged India to withdraw its troops from Nepali territory. It is a rare instance in which an incumbent PM has urged India to do so. India’s mainstream media has extensively covered PM’s expressions.

At a time when national consensus against India’s condescending attitude has been building, Deuba has given a statement against national unity. The opposition party is supposed to criticize the government in several matters but it should support the government’s endeavours in strengthening nationality and border security.

Deuba has a history of passing controversial remarks whether in the case of equating Islamic terrorists with Nepali Maoists or in speaking about constitution amendment in New Delhi. Some days ago, he publicly used vulgar words against agitating student leaders.

Deuba’s irresponsible and objectionable utterance in Pokhara has put Nepali Congress in hot water on the eve of by-elections.