Lamichhane Defends Against Misappropriation Allegations in Parliament

Lamichhane Defends Against Misappropriation Allegations in Parliament

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Home Affairs Ravi Lamichhane has resorted to accusations to refute the allegation of misappropriation of cooperative savings against him.

During the House of Representatives meeting on Sunday evening, The Home Minister, Lamichhane, offended the leaders of the opposition parties. including the main opposition Nepali Congress, while addressing the allegations against him.

"Being in the government, send it out, send him out! It would have been better if they had dared to gather evidence and take action instead of saying that. He lectured Parliament with unsubstantiated rumors," Lamichhane said, slandering Congress General Secretary Gagan Thapa.

Not only individuals who establish cooperatives, but also those who raise poultry, fish, goats, etc. while misusing the subsidy funds, as well as those holding multiple citizenships. Let's also dismiss individuals who possess information about the country and its assets and hold citizenship of the same country. They should be removed from parliament, regardless of their power, whether they are government ministers or party officials. he added.

Lamichhane said he had to "go down to a very low level" to narrate some allegations that came in the media. "I have to narrate some examples in the media for a while, if you feel that I have come down from my political level while saying this, please allow me to go there for a moment. Because of the way I was criticized. That kind of criticism was not done from a height, it was done by going to the surface. Please allow me to go to the surface too!," he stated.

The Home Minister said this House should now decide how to create history and parliamentary dignity. He accused Congress General Secretary Thapa of corruption in 2055 when Thapa was the President of Tribhuvan University's Trichandra Campus. "In 2055, when I was the president of Swabhabu University, there was a news about the corruption in the construction of the park of Trichandra College, more than Rs 30 lakhs in the Auditor General's report," Lamichhane alleged.

Similarly, Lamichhane also mentioned the case of Thapa taking subsidy from PACT in the name of goat rearing and misusing it. "There was a news that they opened a goat farm in Nuwakot and a meat shop in Golfutar in Kathmandu with Rs 150 million from the Commercial Agriculture and Trade Project PACT in the name of Sunkhani Integrated Agriculture Center, took subsidy in 2068 and closed it," he alleged.

Lamichhane said that after allegations of misappropriation of funds, PACT issued a statement denying providing any subsidy. "But there were news that there was a contradiction in that statement and fact check was done by an organization called South Asia, but it was removed from the website due to the influence of powers-that-be. There was news like mine. I don't know whether it was in the court or not, I don't know whether there was a complaint in the police. However, it came to the media. By listening, by seeing, by understanding, by being able to read," he said.

He also raised the reference from the rostrum that when he was the health minister, someone tried to make Rajkumar Rauniar the chancellor of BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences by paying Rs 14 crore. "When I was the Health Minister, there were many news reports claiming that someone made Rajkumar Rauniar the Chancellor of the BP Health Sciences Academy with Rs 140 million and that the money should be handed over to him," he said. "To make or not? Let this House decide, start with me!"

Lamichhane also discussed the allegations of selling red (diplomatic) passports against Congress Vice President Dhanraj Gurung, who was acquitted by a special court in the case. "According to the news published in Annapurna Post on July 9, 2080, in the news entitled 'Red passports sold by MPs', a gang of people smugglers became active by pasting photos of other people on MPs' passports because visas are easily obtained in red passports. MPs seem to be tempted to buy and sell red passports...," he said, quoting the report.

"Regmi's committee submitted a report containing the names of Nepali Congress leaders who took some financial benefits in red passports," Lamichhane claimed, adding "Can the House accept the matter of forming a committee tomorrow based on such accusations made by the media?"

The Home Minister also raised the widebody aircraft procurement scam. "When the payment was made for the purchase of the widebody aircraft, there was no one who was the Minister of Tourism at that time," he questioned. "Will the parliamentary committee be made in that too? We are ready for this."

Lamichhane questioned that the audio of the Congress leaders in the case of fake Bhutanese refugees has come out and that the issue of being leaked will also be made a subject of the parliamentary inquiry committee.

"There were many news reports citing the authority's report that about 30 bighas of government land around Tikapur area of Kailali had been distributed to party leaders, relatives and workers," he stated.

The Home Minister, while giving clarification on the allegations, also raised the issue of the theft of the Rolex watch belonging to the son of former army chief Chhatramansingh Gurung in 2073. In that context, the name of Congress MP Ramhari Khatiwada was mentioned, though the issue was not proven.

Lamichhane brought up the case of corruption by renting out the land of Fun Park at Bhrikutimandap cheaply, mentioning Congress MP Te Bahadur Gurung who was suspended but later reinstated. "At that time, the headline of the online news was – 'Supreme Court's decision against Nazir, corrupt people will make laws!' This is how this House views it," he said.

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