Nepal’s grand old party Nepali Congress had denied a ticket to Dr Swarnim Waglé, the former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC) for the upcoming parliamentary elections.
Waglé was also recommended from Chitwan constituency-1. Locals from Gorkha also wanted him to contest the parliamentary election from the district. Waglé was also open to contest the elections from Kathmandu-5.
Denial of the election ticket to Waglé has sparked an immediate outcry on social media.
Binod Chapagain wrote on Twitter: @SwarnimWagle has already made his place in the heart of Nepali intellectuals & public. It is sad if he does not get an opportunity from his own political party. This is high time to work on the agenda of intra-party democracy to prevent injustice from so-called ‘thula neta’.
Some social media users have indicated that the denial of ticket to him will have setback to Nepali Congress. Biplav Acharya wrote: “Most of us were looking forward to see @SwarnimWagle in active politics. It was a great opportunity for the party as well to attract youths towards the mainstream politics. But, once again they showed their true colors. Same applies to other parties as well.”
Another Twitter user Binisha Nepal expressed her disappointment: “@SwarnimWagle deserves better. We as a nation deserve better. @NepaliCongress @SherBDeuba highly disappointed!! You lost even before the elections.”
Kashish Das Shrestha wrote: Deuba’s disgraceful self on display. Denying @SwarnimWagle an election ticket is to deny Nepalis an opportunity to elect the kind of person who has what Nepal needs in a policy maker and even Cabinet member. But will Deuba even feel any pain from this?
“I was so desperate to see @SwarnimWagle contesting the parliament election. The country again missed a great chance to leverage his vision and international experience. His efforts to improve NPC during his short tenure were commendable,” wrote Santosh Adhikari.
Dr Swarnim Waglé is an eminent Nepali economist, recognized in Nepal as a public intellectual looked up to by the younger generation for his reformist credentials and accomplishments. His recently co-edited policy volume, The Great Upheaval, covering policy implications for Asia, resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic was published by Cambridge University Press.
Waglé chairs a South Asian think-tank, the Institute for Integrated Development Studies (IIDS), based in Kathmandu, and is a Member of the World Bank-steered South Asia Visioning and Championing Process that includes former ministers, secretaries and ambassadors to help advance regional cooperation among South Asian nations.