Nepali Congress (NC) Vice-president Bimalendra Nidhi has taken exception to exclusion of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) and border disputes with China in the common minimum program issued by the ruling coalition.
Nidhi told Prime Minister (PM) Sher Bahadur Deuba during a meeting at the latter's residence in Budhanilkantha that the government should be clearer on the issues of MCC and border disputes.
"Why is the common minimum program silent about MCC? Why could solid things not be written about what should be done about MCC?" a leader quoted Nidhi as asking Deuba.
The MCC has been stuck at the House for a long time. It was to enter the construction phase from June 30, 2020 after House endorsement as per the previous schedule but could not be passed as the then ruling CPN was bitterly divided over the issue.
Nidhi also slammed the exclusion of border disputes with China. The common minimum program under the title 'Promotion of National Interests' mentions that the unresolved border dispute with neighboring country including that of Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh will be resolved through diplomacy.
Nidhi has taken exception to the fact that border dispute with China has not been included in the common minimum program which mentions about the border dispute about Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh (with India).
Nidhi pointed how a team led by NC parliamentary party leader in Karnali Jeevan Bahadur Shahi had found that China has encroached Nepali land in Humla and slammed Deuba for not including that in the common minimum program while mentioning the border disputes with India.
NC lawmakers Devendra Raj Kandel, Satya Narayan Sharma Khanal and Sanjay Kumar Gautam last year had even registered a resolution motion in the federal parliament claiming that China has encroached Nepali land in Gorkha, Solukhumbu, Darchula and Humla districts.
The party later claimed that China has ventured two kilometers inside Nepal in Humla and urged the then KP Sharma Oli government to send protest note to China.
The then main opposition NC had made the claims after a government team led by the then Chief District Officer (CDO) of Humla Chiranjivi Giri that had gone for field inspection in September 2020 located the pillar no 11 at the Nepal-China border which was missing for years and reported that the area in Lapcha where the Chinese government has constructed buildings seems to fall in China.
The team led by NC leader Shahi had gone for field inspection after the government team made the report public and claimed that China has encroached land in Humla.
Nidhi reminded how the Chinese Embassy in Nepal had sent a letter to the party when it spoke about Chinese encroachment last year and asked Deuba why the findings of the party's report have not been included in the common minimum program.
Deuba replied that he tried to incorporate those issues in the common minimum program but to no avail, according to a party source. "I tried to include the issues you have raised but Pushpa Kamal Dahal (CPN (Maoist Center) Chairman) did not agree," the source quoted Deuba as telling Nidhi.
Shahi was also present during the meeting at Budhanilkantha and challenged that he will quit party politics if anyone can prove that his report is false.
NC General Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka, who led the task force to prepare the the common minimum program of the ruling coalition, also conceded that he could not include all the issues in the report.
"There are also talks about sending a high level team on behalf of the government for inspection of the borders," another source confided. "But all the things could not be included in the common minimum program."