Home Minister challenges Congress leader to provide evidence of loan allegations

Home Minister challenges Congress leader to provide evidence of loan allegations

Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ravi Lamichhane has boldly faced allegations from Nepali Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa regarding Lamichhane's borrowing from the Suryadarshan Cooperative.

Speaking to the media after a meeting of the House of Representatives on Friday, Lamichhane demanded that Thapa provide proof in the form of a signed application showing that the Home Minister had applied for a loan from the cooperative.

"Honorable Gagan Thapa claimed I took a loan myself by writing a document and signing it. He said he has proof," Lamichhane stated. "My challenge to him is this - if he can provide that evidence of me applying for a loan, I will quit politics immediately."

The Home Minister then turned the tables, challenging Thapa that if he cannot furnish such proof, then the Congress leader must be the one to leave politics.

Lamichhane argued that the formation of a parliamentary investigation committee on the matter, which has been demanded by the opposition, should be a non-issue if evidence of wrongdoing exists. However, he insisted on first being allowed to clarify his stance in Parliament.

"I want to challenge Gagan Thapa. If he gives that proof, I will leave politics. If he cannot provide that evidence, he will have to leave politics," Lamichhane said. "Let's put two people's politics at stake today. Let's stand in the court of the Nepalese people."

The Home Minister accused the Nepali Congress of being afraid to let him speak in Parliament, claiming that if allowed, he would conclusively clear the air around the controversy.

The disagreement centers on accusations by the opposition that Lamichhane misused his position to improperly obtain a loan, charges he has vehemently denied. The public challenge has now raised the stakes in the political drama.

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