Why Madhes parties prefer Umakant Jha for chief secy
KATHMANDU, July 29: Leaders of ruling Madhes-based political parties on Saturday said Umakant Jha, secretary at the Industry Ministry, must be appointed as the new chief secretary as no Madhesi has reached to the post in the history of Nepal´s bureaucracy.
"If he (Jha) is not appointed now, it is unlikely that any Madhesi will get to the post in the next one or two decades," argued Vice-chairman of Sadhbawana Party Laxman Lal Karna, adding, "He must be appointed to the post to make the bureaucracy inclusive and for bringing Madhesis to the mainstream."
Talking to Republica, General Secretary of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party-Nepal (TMDP-N) Dan Bahadur Chaudhari maintained that the issue over appointment of chief secretary would now be linked to the ability of Madhesi leadership.
"He (Jha) became secretary on his own; now if Madhesi leaders failed to get him appointed to the post of chief secretary, fingers could be pointed at the ability of Madhesi leadership," said Chaudhari.
He argued that the prime minister should support Jha as Madhesi parties backed him while forming the present (UCPN) Maoist-led coalition government.
Lal stated if not Jha, Brinda Hada should be picked for the post of chief secretary as she also belongs to a suppressed community in the country.
Information Minister and Acting Chairman of Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Republican (MPRF-R) Rajkishor Yadav informed that the ruling parties have not agreed on any name yet. "The situation at present is very complex, but the name will be finalized through consensus," Yadav said.
A third possible choice of Madhesis is Shankar Koirala, the secretary at Election Commission.
Four senior secretaries, Koirala, Lilamani Poudel, secretary at the Prime Minister´s Office, Hada, irrigation secretary and Jha, industry secretary, are the strong contenders for the post of chief secretary.
Sources claimed that Madhesi parties have forwarded Jha´s name in a bid to scuttle Poudel´s chance at the appointment. Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has proposed Poudel for the post.
Another source claimed that Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar is for using Jha as bargaining chip to pressure the prime minister for promoting Additional Inspector General of Police (AIG) Kalyan Kumar Timilsina as Inspector General of Police (IGP).