Nepal PM sacks Defence Minister

The PM was under intense pressure from main opposition parties for removing the leader for his anti-national remarks.

Kathmandu: Nepalese Prime Minister Baburam
Bhattarai on Wednesday sacked Defence Minister Sarad Singh Bhandari,
a prominent Madhesi leader for allegedly making secessionist
remarks, days after a Maoist leader was shown the door.

The prime minister, who is embarking on his maiden trip
to India, was under intense pressure from main opposition
parties Nepali Congress and CPN-UML for removing the Madhesi
leader for his anti-national remarks.

Bhandari was relieved from duty at the recommendation of
his party Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum (MPRF)- Democratic.

Earlier this week, Land Reforms Minister and Maoist
leader Prabhu Sah was relieved from the post for his alleged
links in the murder of a Hindu youth leader Kashi Nath Tiwari
last year.

Addressing the Legislature-Parliament in the capital, the
prime minister announced that Bhandari and Sah have been
relieved from their ministerial posts on the recommendation of
their respective parties.

Nepali Congress and CPN-UML had blocked the Parliament
proceedings nearly for a week asking the Prime Minister to
sack the two ministers.

Home Minister and chairman of MPRF- Democratic Biajaya
Kumar Gachhadar has been given the responsibility of the
Defence Ministry while Maoist leader and Minister for Local
Development Top Bahadur Rayamajhi would look after the Land
Reform Ministry.

Reacting to this Bhandari said that he did not resign
from the post.

"It is the party which decided to withdraw my name from
the cabinet," he said.

He alleged that the move to sack him was a conspiracy
hatched against the marginalised Madhesi people who are
fighting for more rights and representation.

"My remarks were aimed at uniting the nation not for
dividing," Bhandari said.
He alleged that the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML have been hindering the process of drafting an inclusive
constitution by demanding his resignation.

"I have been voicing against the discrimination facing
the Madhesi community in the country and the move to sack me
from the ministry was ploy to against the Madhesi people, he

He also challenged the party leadership to call central
committee meeting in the matter.


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