KATMANDU, SEPTEMBER 22
Nepalese Congress Vice President Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar said the autocratic Communist government accused him in the land grabbing case of Lalita Niwas for political revenge.
Speaking at a press conference here today, Gachhadar said that as Minister of Physical Infrastructure and Transport in the cabinet headed by Madhav Kumar Nepal, he only submitted the proposal of his ministry relating to the Lalita Niwas Development Master Plan in accordance with the directive of the former Prime Minister of Nepal and had not committed any wrongdoing. “It was a collective Cabinet decision. I didn’t do anything wrong to my advantage,” he said.
He said he was accused of being accused of grabbing Lalita Niwas’ land to sabotage his five-decade political career.
He alleged that the Commission of Inquiry into Abuse of Authority accused innocent people like him in the case, but ruled in favor of some people who should have been held responsible for wrongdoing.
He said that efforts to expand the prime minister’s residence and widen roads in the Lalita Niwas area that are home to prominent figures and the central office of Nepal Rastra Bank began before he occupied the area. Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport in the government led by Nepal.
Gachhadar said he had just played the role of a line minister while implementing the government’s blueprint. He said anyone reading the file could easily conclude that the allegations against him were false and fabricated. “My five-decade political career is an open book. I have never embezzled a dime from the government.
I was a government minister for a long time, but I do not own a house in the capital. I still live in a rented house, ”he added.
He claimed to have played a role in breaking the deadlock in the Constituent Assembly which contributed to the drafting of the constitution.
Stating that the suspension of a person who did not hold an executive position could not be considered valid, Gachhadar said the provision for the suspension of the holder of a public office had been misused and that he had been unfairly suspended from the House of Representatives. He said the CIAA’s practice of acting on the basis of a complaint filed by unknown persons should be abandoned.
The CIAA had, in February 2020, filed a complaint against 175 people, including Gachhadar, for their alleged role in the transfer of plots of land from Lalita Niwas to individuals.
Gachhadar was released by the Special Court on bail of Rs 1 million.
In response to a journalist’s question, Gachhadar said he would not run for the post of party chairman and does not belong to any faction. He said he would continue to help harmonize relations between party chairman Sher Bahadur Deuba and top leader Ramchandra Paudel.
A version of this article appears in print, September 23, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.