Does Baburam Bhattarai Need Political Adversaries like Mohan Baidya When he has a Wife like Hisila Yami?

LEFT TO RIGHT: Sita Dahal, her husband Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Dr Baburam Bhattarai and his wife Hisila Yami pose for a photo before heading to what is now known as the historic Chunwang Baithak (meeting) in Chunwang, Rolpa in 2005. Pic via Dinesh Shrestha

‘Choosy’ Hisila Yami Cheapens Her PM Hubby’s Resolves  हिसिला यमी जस्ती भ्रष्ट श्रीमती भएपछि प्रधानमन्त्री बाबुरामलाई मोहन बैद्य जस्ता राजनीतिक शत्रु किन चाहियोस ?

By Bhadra Sharma

[प्रधानमन्त्रीकी भ्रष्ट पत्नी: १६ लाखको मुस्ताङ चढने प्रधानमन्त्रीकी श्रीमती हिसिला यमीलाई डेड करोडको प्राडो चाहियो ! जवकी प्रधानमन्त्रीकी श्रीमतीलाई गाडी दिने कानूनी प्रावधानै छैन । सस्तो गाडी दिँदा उनले मुख्य सचिवलाई भनिन्- ” त्यो गिरिजाले चढेको थोत्रो, मलाई नयाँ चाहियो ।” प्रधानमन्त्रीले बोलाएको भन्दै सचिवहरूलाई बालुवाटारस्थित प्रम निवासमा झुक्याएर बोलाउने यमीले आफै सचिवहरूलाई निर्देशन दिन्छिन् । स्रोत: काठमान्डू पोष्ट]

While Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has been meticulously following the austerity measures in a bid to create a better image of his government, his wife Hisila Yami, a prominent leader in the Maoist party, seems to be swimming against the current. Sources said many of her recent acts watered down her husband’s resolves.

In a clear breach of the PM’s recent directives, Yami demanded a Prado, a Toyota car that costs Rs 15 million, from the Prime Minister’s Office only last week. PM Bhattarai, in sharp contrast, rides a Nepal-assembled Mustang car, which costs Rs 1.6 million.

“She telephoned Chief Secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire and asked him to manage a Prado for her,” a government secretary said. “We were taken aback by her demand as it did not quite follow the spirit of the PM’s code of conduct. The PMO has expressed inability to fulfill her demand right away.”

hisila yami
The fashionable Hisila Yami in a recent photo

His own well-wishers in the party say Bhattarai is a man of solid integrity, but his success would depend on how he manages “Yami’s tendency to overreach.”

“It is also his test,” said a Maoist leader.

As one of the few prominent women leaders in Nepali politics, Yami also has her own history of struggle and political leadership in her party. She is a three-time minister and a Maoist lawmaker. But when she was in power, many of her work created controversies. She has been accused of promoting nepotism and favouritism while appointing staffers in state-run offices and corporations, and pressing government officials to work for her vested interests.

PMO sources said that since Bhattarai was elected the PM, Yami has, against the established norms, summoned secretaries many times at Baluwatar and instructed them to act in accordance with her interests.

On September 17, a day before Bhattarai left for New York to attend the UN General Assembly, Yami summoned 11 secretaries, mainly from the Maoist-led ministries, at Baluwatar, stating that the PM wanted to consult with them. When the secretaries reached the PM’s residence, Bhattarai was absent, but Yami started instructing them.

“Sometimes, she summons and directs us on her own. At times, she directs us to support something that serves only her interest,” a government secretary said.

It is also learnt that Yami has been pressing government officials to provide financial assistance to the Marxist Study Centre run by Maoist leaders loyal to Bhattarai. Yami rubbished charges of pressure to provide financial assistance to the centre. But she admitted that she had refused a vehicle provided by the PMO and asked for a new one because the one sent was “very old”. “Party workers detested the vehicle saying it was used by late Girija Prasad Koirala. I have not demanded a Prado. Even Bolero will be ok,” Yami said.

Government sources said law does not provide a separate vehicle to the PM’s wife, but tradition has it that the PM’s close ones, including his wife, do use vehicles at the PMO.

What is the protocol of Hishila Yami, asks People’s Review, wife of Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai? How she was found sitting with her husband during the talks with foreign dignitaries? Those incidents have become a headache for the Foreign Ministry officials. Besides, Yami’s intervention in the Prime Minister’s Office has become another headache for the officials there. Now, those officials have started to compare Hishila with Sujata Koirala.

Meanwhile, PM Bhattarai has demonstrated his austerity by deciding to use a Mustang Max, a vehicle assembled in Nepal, but the other vehicles used for escorting him are all much more expensive. Furthermore, while escorting the PM, the security cars are also seen running behind his vehicles and there is also one “official car” with a flag that is there for the PM. Just recently, when PM Bhattartai was returning from the oath taking ceremony of the newly appointed ministers, along with the Mustang in which PM Bhattarai was traveling, his “official” car was also following him with a flag. Inside his official car, his wife was sitting. She is not even a minister, but she was riding a car with the national flag. Who is there to object her indulgence?

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7 thoughts on “Does Baburam Bhattarai Need Political Adversaries like Mohan Baidya When he has a Wife like Hisila Yami?”

  1. This is clearly something cultural nepalese it looks complicated and sexist and I know you are right.

    Let me put it this way the other way around she should be paid a private jet just for being a role model, there is none. First Sujata got it all in her face, now Yami whom I understand is a good speaker.

    Nepal only gets foreign aid at this stage for gender disequality or kids. We are too african. So this is the heart of the matter, but maybe for this Dassain you can forgive us women for being the first generation doing these odd jobs, our granmothers and mothers had no drivers licences…..

    Jay Nepal God bless Hisila and Sujata and give us the strenght to put up with so much criticism. My mother used to say every day is mothers’day ! We have a long road to go there in Himalayan.

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  2. We would expect someone like Hisila Yami — irrespective of who she is, what her background is, who she is married to, and what role she plays in Nepalese politics — to know what is right or what is wrong.

    However, it is not a surprise, knowing that Hisila knows no better, as she herself is a byproduct of a corrupt political culture, where she does what she desires because majority of Nepalese, having spent centuries in darkness, have no knowledge, or have somewhat vague knowledge of, what roles their government must play.

    We have millions of hardworking people, but unfortunately, we don’t hear from them, because they have voices yet they are voiceless. Why is it happening so? “It’s the Nepal’s educational system, stupid!”

    Provide them quality education you will hear them speak. When they do speak, you won’t be able to keep them quiet; and, that’s when the real revolution will begin, and people like Hisila Yami will have been long gone then.

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    Like

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    Like

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