Monday, November 18, 2013
Nepalikukur has been sniffing around since his whole-hearted endorsement of Ujwal Thapa and his comrades. Several disturbing reports have come to his attention, the most worrying of which centres around allegations that Kathmandu-4 Bibeksheel candidate Santosh Pradhan, as co-founder and chairman of NDEX, a commodity exchange index, has been directly or indirectly involved in defrauding members of the public of massive sums of money. These are serious allegations, not least because they threaten to undermine the social capital built up by Ujwal Thapa’s Bibeksheel Party, based as it is on an ideal of honesty. It is crucial that they are addressed, directly and immediately, by the candidates themselves, who seem to be content to dismiss genuine concerns as ‘conspiracy theories’ and ‘mud-slinging’. So my questions to Ujwal and his colleagues are:
Do you feel that Santosh Pradhan’s hands are clean with regards to the goings-on in the grey area of the commodity exchange market?
If yes, who do you think is responsible for the losses incurred by members of the public, beyond the responsibility they may bear as a result of the inherently risky nature of the transactions? Government? Operators of commodity exchanges?
If no, then why is Santosh Pradhan associated with Bibeksheel Nepali?
Answers would be appreciated – after all, there is still time to consider who most deserves our votes.
November 1, 2013
Why vote for Kukur, the canine emblem of the virtually known yet unknown Bibeksheel Party?
“Your vote will be wasted,” a relative informs me, even as he proclaims he is for Kamal Thapa of RPP-Nepal, and I reply with equal relish that his vote will be not just wasted, but pointless to boot. What is the point of stepping forward into the past? The point, he declares, is to register a protest vote. Not because Kamal Thapa is any less of a thug than all the others leering their way across the nation right now, but because he feels aggrieved that the Nepali people were never consulted on the question of the secular republic. Fair point, I acknowledge, my vote for Kukur, too, is first and foremost a protest vote. That’s one reason I’m voting for Bibeksheel Nepali’s Ujwal Thapa in Kathmandu-5.
The second reason may be located in Narahari Acharya, the Nepali Congress incumbent for Kathmandu-5. I cannot see that his victory last time around has improved anything for his constituency, where I live, nor that Acharya, as a Congress intellectual, managed to decisively influence the constitutional process. Perhaps I have not been paying enough attention – he may be one of the better choices available to us – but no one except my neighbour has really canvassed for my vote on his behalf, and his one-liner ‘Sambidhan ko laagi’ was as vague as the man’s professed vision. Compare this with local dawg Ujwal Thapa’s practical roadmap. Having a constitution is all very well, but don’t we have to live in the meantime?
The third reason lies is the UML candidate Ishwor Pokharel, whose website divides an About Me section into: My journey, About me, My history, and Biodata. He’s the General Secretary of his party, and an ex-minister. Yet on the campaign trail he did nothing but look on from the podium as his Youth Force goons thrashed a member of the public who’d dared to ask him what he’d done with the money he’d stashed away from his time in power. A fair question, wouldn’t you say?
A fourth reason in the Maoist and RPP-Nepal candidates, left and right respectively. They both belong to a discredited past. ‘Nuff said.
Which brings us back to our best friend, Le Dog. Voting for Kukur is a protest vote at the very least, but it could also mark the beginning of a genuine party of the people, or even one whose moment has already arrived. Yes, the Bibeksheel Nepalis may be limited to a young urban base at the moment, and it is only too easy to dismiss them along with the various social media movements their four candidates have been associated with. They must reach out, and this I believe they are trying to do with whatever resources they have, inasmuch as independent candidates are allowed to do so by the competing thugs of major parties. But they deserve my vote at least as much as any of the others do. At least I have seen with my own eyes what Ujwal Thapa has done in the last few years through his involvement in Entrepreneurs for Nepal and his work with Nepal Unites and the anti-Bandh alliance. I have also seen with my own eyes what the rest of Nepal’s politicians have done over the years. And, believe you me, seeing is believing.
Join Ujwal Thapa and the Bibeksheel Nepalis on Kukur Tihar tomorrow 9am at Basantpur Square, November 2 2013.Go back to previous page