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    OpinionsNepali PM Dahal’s daughter at Modi’s swearing-in event: Heir in line!

    Nepali PM Dahal’s daughter at Modi’s swearing-in event: Heir in line!


    Family nepotism causing discontent among party ranks, resignations

    By Arun Kumar Shrivastav

    This might be stretching it a bit, but the presence of two daughters of note at the swearing-in ceremony of Narendra Modi as 's Prime Minister for the third time in a row led to talk that their attendance must have been more than what the eye could see. Especially, Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's daughter Ganga Dahal.

    Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's daughter Saima Wazed also attended and both the daughters captured headlines back home. Ganga Dahal, the youngest daughter of Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, commonly known as “Prachand,” has been a focal point of Nepali media attention on numerous occasions. Her increasing presence in Nepali and Communist party affairs has sparked discussions, with many alleging her stature was due to her father.

    What sets Ganga apart in Nepali political circles is her relatively limited experience as a party activist. In contrast, her elder sister, Renu Dahal, currently serving as the Mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan City in the Greater Kathmandu area, boasts a more extensive political background.

    Also, Ganga Dahal's sister-in-law, Bina Magar, is the Water Supply Minister. Clearly, “dynasty” is not an Indian phenomena alone. The subcontinent is home to family rule all over its length and breadth. Even in Pakistan, and in Sri Lanka.

    Within Nepali communist party politics, particularly in the allocation of significant governmental positions, the weightage given to party experience, notably involvement in the civil war, is paramount. In this regard, Bina Magar holds a unique position of eligibility. As the spouse of PM Dahal's late son, Prakash Dahal, who passed away in 2017 at the age of 37, Bina Magar is regarded as one of the most qualified individuals within the Dahal family circle, second only to Dahal himself.

    Reports indicate a growing dissent within the ranks of the Maoist Centre as Chairman Dahal's persistent favouritism towards family members over experienced party veterans prompts concerns regarding succession planning and internal democratic processes. The absence of due electoral procedures in leadership appointments has only served to exacerbate existing tensions.

    In December, Haribol Gajurel, a prominent activist within the CPN (Maoist Center), made headlines by resigning from his position as Chief Political Advisor to the Prime Minister. Gajurel cited fundamental policy disparities as the primary reason for his resignation. He expressed unease over the escalating involvement of PM Dahal's daughter, Ganga Dahal, in administrative matters, adding to the growing discontent within the party.

    Gajurel highlighted Ganga Dahal's active involvement in coordinating meetings and managing the Prime Minister's agenda, which has drawn scrutiny. He pointed out instances where significant decisions were made without his prior knowledge, despite his seniority within the organization. Insiders within the Secretariat suggest that Ganga Dahal's perceived influence over crucial administrative matters played a role in Gajurel's decision to resign.

    Reports suggest that Ganga Dahal and her spouse, Jeevan Acharya, are excessively involved in the affairs of the PM's Secretariat, extending to matters such as staff appointments, promotions, and policy formulations. Individuals seeking access to Prime Minister Dahal often need Ganga Dahal's approval, prompting concerns about potential breaches of established administrative protocols.

    In January 2023, The Kathmandu Post reported growing dissatisfaction within the CPN (Maoist Centre), with allegations surfacing regarding Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal's perceived favouritism towards his family members over party leaders. The focal point of the controversy was Dahal's apparent promotion of Ganga Dahal within the political sphere, sparking concerns about nepotism and its impact on party dynamics.

    A widely circulated photograph captured Ganga Dahal engaged in dialogue with CPN-UML chair KP Sharma Oli. Sources from both parties suggest that Ganga played a pivotal role in facilitating communication between the two leaders, despite their prior rivalry. Observers noted her increasing presence in such high-profile meetings, signalling a growing involvement in political affairs, albeit with limited party credentials beyond her role in her father's personal secretariat.

    Ganga's consistent presence alongside her father during crucial inter-party negotiations and public engagements has attracted scrutiny from party members. As Chairman Dahal engaged in pivotal talks with various political factions, Ganga accompanied him to important gatherings and diplomatic meetings, prompting raised eyebrows among party insiders. Furthermore, her active participation in official functions, often receiving preferential treatment from organizers, has fuelled speculation about her expanding role within the party structure.

    Ganga, along with her elder sister Renu, was reported to have visited India for discussions with Indian leaders following the November 2022 general elections in Nepal. Despite Dahal's party winning less than 15% of the seats, he formed the government with the support of the Nepali Congress. IPA Service


    The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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