Sajha Sawal : President and Vice-President New or Old ?

December 7, 2013

The 317th episode of BBC Sajha Sawal saw “President and Vice-President New or Old” as subject of discussion. Mr. Narayan Shrestha as the host of program welcomed the speakers of the panel in the stage.

  1. Bhim Acharya (CPN-UML)
  2. Ramesh Lekhak (Nepali Congress)
  3. Bipin Adhikari (Constitutional Law Expert)

With 60+ audience clapping after the intro music, the program looked somewhat promising to be interesting. A small 2-3 sentence introduction was given by the speakers which ‘as expected’ extended to more that 10 and then the program started formally.

Keeping in mind the two major issues of program “appointment of president” and “What shall be done develop good government?” the program picked up the momentum. Mr. Narayan Shrestha took questions from the audience, dedicated to each 3 speakers.

Bhim Acharya from CPN-UML Party

A disadvantage may be, for being on the far right to Mr. Narayan Shrestha. His answers arouse another question and all the audience could hear was a clich (थेगो) “पखनुस न पखनुस मैले उनको जबाब दिनै बाकी छ”. Actually as it is said Don’t judge a book by looking at it’s cover, Mr. Bhim Acharya unraveled what his party meant by changing the current President and Vice-President. Well he was repeating words like janta ko fresh mandate liyera janu parcha (we should take people the voters fresh mandate to constitution), people’s feeling should be addressed too, etc etc. Well there was a time when studio audience strongly disagreed with Mr. Bhim Acharya, when he said “you are not the people who gave fresh mandate”. Soon, he cleared what he meant was that the studio audience was just a representative of more than 2 crores Nepali citizens.

His points and view were not just air or came out of the blue but might be it was misinterpreted. Some say “CPN-UML now is on the bargaining phase as they couldn’t top Constitution Assembly Elections exam” and some say ” CPN-UML have forwarded the wrong foot and created unnecessary chaos before constitution was made”.  Nevertheless, with red hot chilly face and a smile on top of that, how couldn’t audience resist more questions with him.

Ramesh Lekhak from Nepali Congress Party

By the time Mr. Ramesh Lekhak got a chance to speak, he could give a silent clap to Bhim Acharya with “कहिले काहि तर्क गर्दा गर्दा, आँफै फस्न सकिन्छ “. The current president is ceremonial but joining acting president with constitution making issue is making a issue. He added “Let’s not go towards power sharing debate on president/vice-president matter but focus on Constitution making.

Narayan Shrestha as usual with his charming eyes bombarded prompt questions on Mr. Ramesh Lekhak too. If you can’t keep up with Narayan Shrestha, you have to have a clich (थेगो). So, Ramesh Lekhak was like. “म आउदैछु त्येस्मा, म आउदैछु “. I was like who said debates are serious, it has humor and that too on a political note.

Though Ramesh Lekhak sat there looking silent and cool, he forgot that when host Narayan Shrestha asks you can’t stop from getting yourself into action.

Bipin Adhikari – A Constituional Law Expert

While the party representatives were busy with the warm-up exercises, Mr. Bipin Adhikari seemed to be analyzing the whole scenario. He said, the mandate is to build constitution within a year, so clarity is needed but working time frame should too be kept in mind. He added some bullet points on his reply to the question, “What did we learn from last constitution भाग-१ ?”.

  • Don’t forget previous mandate but new constitution should be created with fresh directive.
  • Power sharing is a harsh reality but the driving seat has changed now and second, third parties should be involved too.
  • As American Founding father Thomas Jefferson quoted “every 19 years constitution changes”.
  • Basic difference between yesterday and today is that two-third people’s verdict is there but are we here now focused on constitution making or else ?

Question and Answer with the audience

Mani Parajuli from Kavre had a query for the speakers/leaders :

We voted, they won but now why the president issue? According to current issues, who take what ministry posts issues might also surface which could prolong 2-3 years more. Can’t we focus on constitution creation rather than playing the blame game ? If you  people keep doing this you guys might too be like Osama Bin Laden.

Ratan Mandal from Tribhuwan University questioned :

According to 2064 CA Elections president was selected, but isn’t there a Najir that if certain situation arises, there is a way out?

Bhim Acharya responded by saying, we have come to deliver people’s command we know this, but this constitution without agreement can’t be made. He added, Nepali Congress has benefit this time and they don’t want to change president.

धूप बालेर मात्रै संबिधान बन्दैन ।

-भिम आचार्य  (नेपाल कम्यूनिष्ट पार्टी (ए. मा. ले))

Ramesh Lekhak in reply told that Bhim Acharya has put him in corner by saying that Lekhak only talks as written in books, but did we(congress) too get people’s mandate or only CPN-UML ? Their eyes are set on president seat with an eagle eye rather than constitution making.

Bipin Adhikari had a different perspective in response to the questions. He said, it is power politics, agenda politics for sure but without making constitution  there is no escape route.He added, practice on real issues more. And to Ratan Mandal’s question, Bipin Adhikari answered, rather than power ko najir we should talk about equality. There is no najir elsewhere too.

The program concluded on a note of “within  a year constitution writing work will be finished” and for now ongoing issues “Let’s Agree to Disagree“.

Please comment your views about this blog.


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