Quit for consensus sake, Bhattarai tells VCs


Himalayan News Service

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In a meeting with five vice-chancellors today, Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai urged them to rethink their positions and help him resolve the protracted crisis in all the seven universities of the country. Talking to The Himalayantimes Daily, chief political adviser Devendra Paudel informed that the PM who is also the chancellor of the country’s universities asked the VCs to attend another meeting with the PM tomorrow after rethinking.

Sources quoted one of the VCs as saying that the PM categorically suggested to the VC of Nepal Sanskrit University Shiva Hari Marahattha to put in his papers saying that his appointment had drawn flak as his previous tenure was also controversial because the former king had appointed him.

Marahattha was compelled to resign after professors at the university went on a protracted strike. “PM Bhattarai asked all the VCs to fall in line with the idea of forging consensus to end the deadlock in universities, so that they would have room for holding positions in the university again,” sources quoted the PM.

PM Bhattarai further said if they rejected his proposal, there were other alternatives for the executive posts. “Though the appointments were legal, the PM strongly urged all the VCs to rethink,” VC of Agriculture and Forest University Kailash Nath Pyakurel quoted the PM. “I told the PM that our resignations would not address the demand of agitating professors groups,” said Pyakurel.

All the seven universities have been padlocked by professors aligned to NC and UCPN-Maoist since August 9, the day after all the seven VCs were appointed by the former government. During the meeting, he had repeatedly asked the VCs not to become hurdles and rethink by tomorrow. UCPN-Maoist affiliated VC of Purbanchal University Maheshwor Man Shrestha is in Biratnagar holding talks with all the parties to forge consensus.

It is learnt that PM Bhattarai had asked Shrestha to solve the problem instantly if they wanted to remain in the post. In the meeting VC of Far West University Jaya Raj Awasthi, TU VC Hira Maharjan, VC of Pokhara University Khagendra Bhattarai, Pyakurel and Marahattha were present. The VC of Mid-Western University Padam Lal Devkota is at his home to mourn his brother’s death. Following the meeting the PM separately met the agitating professors.

(Source: The Himalayantimes)