President Ram Chandra Paudel has clarified that he is not trying to become politically active in the all-party meeting he held at the Sheetal Niwas Tuesday morning.
The main opposition CPN-UML boycotted the meeting pointing that President Paudel called the meeting specifying the agenda of ending House obstruction but all the other parties and independent lawmakers attended the meeting.
UML has been obstructing the House demanding a high-level committee to investigate gold smuggling. The Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) of Nepal Police is currently investigating the case. But UML has been stressing that the CIB cannot investigate the Home Minister or others in the government who may have been involved in gold smuggling.
"I have not tried to become active," President Paudel stressed. "I have also suffered a lot for democracy. This is, therefore, my concern toward the nation."
President Paudel had also previously met Prime Minister (PM) Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Speaker Dev Raj Ghimire, UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and Rastriya Swatantra Party (RSP) President Rabi Lamichhane separately and urged them to end the House obstruction.
Pointing that many important bills related to transitional justice, money laundering and others have been stuck due to House obstruction, he revealed that he was worried of maneuverings against the Constitution and the federal republican system itself to justify the Tuesday's all-party meeting.
UML, meanwhile, boycotted the meeting over displeasure of Oli with President Paudel. It has formally objected that President Paudel called the meeting specifying the agenda and reasoned that there was no use of attending the all-party meeting called by the president when the government agreed late Monday night for a high level committee to probe gold smuggling and even formed a task force to that regard.
But the main reason seems to be Oli's displeasure with President Paudel during their meeting on August 16. A UML leader confided with Setopati that President Paudel told Oli that the people were disappointed with the continued House obstruction and warned that Oli would have to take all the blame for that.
Oli was unhappy with President Paudel's statement and protested against that during the meeting itself, according to the UML leader, and pointed how the president was deviating from the Constitution by authenticating the Citizenship Bill and granting presidential pardon to Resham Chaudhary ignoring the Supreme Court's verdict.
The leader stated that UML boycotted the all-party meeting as Oli felt that President Paudel was trying to unnecessarily become active.