Splitting and spitting


Prime Minister K P Oli landed himself in fresh controversy after he punctuated his speech at the National Assembly on Sunday by spitting from the rostrum.

He was halfway through his one-hour delivery to the Upper House defending his latest political moves when he spat on the floor in full view of the Upper House chamber and television cameras.

The PM has now managed to line up a saga of controversies for himself after he dissolved the Lower House on 20 December, and went on to defend what critics have called an unconstitutional and anti-democratic move. The power struggle at the top of the Nepal Communist Party between Oli and a faction led by Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhav Kumar Nepal has virtually split the party in two.


The prime minister has tried to defend his move, but poor governance during his tenure and mishandling of the Covid-19 crisis do not give him much credibility.   

The spitting incident has led to outrage on Nepal’s cybersphere, with many posts questioning the temperament of a leader who holds the executive power. Social media posts criticising Oli for lack of basic etiquette and his total disregard for the Assembly and the citizens have accompanied the viral video. 

Condemning Oli's action, @SamanaMishra writes on Twitter: “General etiquette--government’s dignity has gone for a toss with the PM spitting, which is the cause of this pandemic. This is totally disrespectful to all.”

Another user BimalK_Budha writes, “It is normal for one who is pissing on the future of the country.”

The official website of the Parliament includes various documents involving rules and regulations to be followed by the members of the House of Representatives and National Assembly. The rulebook calls for maintenance of decorum in the parliament and lists strict punctuality, prohibition of phones and showing respect for colleagues by not causing interruptions, among other things. 

By spitting in the Upper House chamber, Oli has left himself wide open to ridicule and criticism. There are few who have defended his action.


@dahalshivaji takes to Twitter to make a subtle remark, “Prime Minister K P Oli spat in the National Assembly, I think we are allowed to call him indecent?” But there are others, who are sardonic: “Let’s hope his supporters don’t take out a spit rally to endorse his spitting in the Assembly,”  @RahbarA writes on Twitter.

And there are those who have also expressed their rage: "The country has never had such a disgusting Prime Minister. I hope we never have to deal with anyone like him," writes @bibas_H.

Oli, known for his sharp repartee, has time and again managed to mis-speak, provoking a tirade of insults for his actions on social media. The last time he caused an uproar was when he tried to regain his nationalist credentials by claiming that Lord Ram was born in Nepal, leading to a cyber war between India and Nepal.

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