Ram Chandra Poudel or Ram Chandra Paudel is a Nepalese politician who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nepal. He is a member of the Nepali Congress.
In the 2008 Constituent Assembly election he was elected from the Tanahu-2 constituency, winning 18,970 votes. He was elected as the Leader of the Parliamentary Party of the Nepali Congress on June 20, 2009, securing 61 votes against Sher Bahadur Deuba, a former Prime Minister who received 48 votes.
Poudel is a senior leader and central committee member of the Nepali Congress who served as Acting President of the Nepali Congress after the death of party president Susil Koirala. He was actively involved in party organization for many years as a central committee member and vice-president.
Notable works :
Notable works implemented by Ram Chandra Poudel when he held important portfolio in government (Minister, Speaker and Deputy Prime Minister) and in the party.
1. When he was the local development minister, in Kathmandu valley the roads were opened on both sides of rivers including Bagmati, Bishnumati and Shesmati in Kathmandu.
2. When he was the Minister of Local Development, necessary law were passed for decentralization of power & the local elections were held within 8 months in 2048 BS.
3. The “Rural Self-Reliance Program” 2049/50 has been started under his leadership. The same program was renamed by the upcoming communist government as “build our own village “. Lack of publication by congress , people still confuse that program was UML government concept .
4. After the resignation of Ms. Shailaja Acharya in 2049 BS, he also held the Minister of Agriculture portfolio . Paudel helped modernize the Agricultural Ingredients Institute and Dairy Development Institute to serve the people of Nepal.
5. Almost 20,000 kilometers of new roads were constructed across the country by the initiation of ” Food Grain Program (B.S. 2049-51) for work “.
6. Initiated the formulation of twenty year agricultural development plan by conducting commercial agriculture program.
7. Worked with all parties and helped fail the impeachment motion registered in the house of representatives that targeted to thwart the parliamentary ruling system.
8. He played an important role in preserving the parliamentary system when he was the Speaker of the house of representatives.
9. He initiated and helped the establishment of the Armed Police Force in Nepal . Currently this police force is deployed for important national security operations including border security and disaster relief works.
10. Distributed 22,000 metric tons of food grains in the drought affected areas of the Terai in 2050-51 BS.
11. He played an influential role as the Leader of the Opposition when he was the Leader of the opposition (Parliamentary Party leader).
12. When he was the head of the party’s policy and training institute, he engaged the party cadres by conducting several training programs and talk programs all over the country.
13. He played an important role in the implementation of the “Comprehensive Peace Agreement/Accord” as the coordinator of the all-party peace committee and later served as the Minister of Peace when the peace accord was signed with the Maoists and the government of Nepal.
14. He played an important role in drafting and the agreement by preparing and signing a 22-point agreement to address and resolve the Madhesh agitation movement.
15. Worked for ensuring inclusive and democratic constitution by playing a decisive role in the constitution drafting of Nepal.
16. While being in the several top positions of the party, he has always played an important role in party decisions , policy making and handling all-party talks.
Poudel was born in September 1944 into a higher class farmer’s family in the remote village of Satiswara, located in the Tanahun district of western Nepal. He is married and has five children: four daughters one son.
M.A. (1970) in Nepali literature from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, appeared in the examination while being detained the jail as an anti-panchayat leader.
SASTRI (1967) in Sanskrit literature from Tribhuvan University.
Poudel received numerous literary awards on various debates and essay competitions.
He writes frequently political and theoretical affairs which are being published in national vernaculars.
He received Mahendra Bikram Shah Prize in 1987 on an article entitled “Human Rights Condition in Nepal”.
He has published the following books:
What Nepali Congress Says (1976)
Satyagraha – Why and How (1984)
Democratic Socialism – A study (1990)
Journey of Faith (1996)
Abhisapta Etihas (2004)
Socialism – In New Context (2012)
Agricultural Revolution and Socialism (2013)
(a) Greatly affected by the unconstitutional dissolution of parliament and the dismissal of the duly elected government led by B.P. Koirala in December, 1960 and decided to be involved in the movement for the restoration of democratic rights in the early age of 16.
(b) Associated with the Armed Insurrection Movement for the restoration of democracy and seize of Bharatpur/Chitwan in 1961.
(c) Initiated Free Student Movement in 1962.
(d) Elected President of the Saraswati College Student Union in 1966.
(e) Elected as a founder President of the Gandaki Student committee in 1966.
(f) Elected as the General Secretary of the Democratic Socialist Youth League (DSYL) in 1967.
(g) Took important initiative in organizing Nepal Student Union 1970 and elected as a Senior member of the committee of the Union.
(h) Elected as a member of the Nepali Congress Tanahun District Committee in 1977.
(i) Elected as a Vice-President of the Nepali Congress Tanahun District Committee in 1979.
(j) Elected as a president of the Tanahun District Multy Party Campaigning committee in 1980.
(k) Made the coordinator of the Nepali Congress’s Central Publicity Committee in 1983.
(l) Appointed as a member of the Central Committee of the Nepali Congress and was made the chief of its central level Publicity Bureau in 1987.
(m) Elected as a Member of Parliament from Tanahun Constituency No. 1 be defeating Nepal communist Party (United People’s Front) Candidate with large margin. (1991)
(n) Served as the Minister for Local Development & Agriculture from May 29, 1991 to 1994.
(o) Elected as a Member of Parliament from Tanahun Constituency No. 2 by defeating Nepal Communist Party (UML) Candidate by huge Margin from general election held in 1994.
(p) Elected as the speaker of House of representatives (lower house) in 1994 and served until 1998.
(q) Served as the Minister for Home and Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal in 1999 to 2002.
(r) Made the coordinator of Peace Secretariat that included representative from top political parties. (2006-2007)
(s) Served as the Minister for Peace and Reconstruction in, 2007 to 2008
(t) Made the General Secretary of the Nepali Congress’s Central Committee in 2006.
(u) Made the Vice-President of the Nepali Congress’s Central Committee in 2007.
(v) Elected as a Member of Constituent Assembly from Tanahun Constituency No. 2 by defeating Nepal Communist Party (Maoists) Candidate from elections 2008.
(w) Elected as Parliamentary Party Leader of Nepali Congress party by defeating 3 times prime minister of Nepal and leader Sher Bahadur Deuba, 2008.
(x) Made the Vice President of Nepali Congress after being elected as Central Working Committee Member of the party in 12th General Assembly of the party in 2009. Serving till date.
(y) Elected as a Member of Constituent Assembly from Tanahun Constituency No. 2 by defeating Nepal Communist Party (UML) Candidate from 2nd CA Elections held in 2013.
Spent all over 15 years as a prisoner of conscience on various occasions being an opponent of dictatorial panchayat regime (while leading campaigns against King’s directly imposed ruling system).
(a) 1962- Detained for 10 months in connection with the armed seize of bharatpur by Nepali Congress.
(b) 1964- Detained for 12 months in connection with the student movement in Kathmandu.
(c) 1966- Detained for 6 months for being involved in the movement to oust the then Deputy inspector General of Police.
(d) 1967- Detained for 14 months in connection with the organizational activities of DSYL in Pokhara.
(e) 1969 – Detained for one year in Kathmandu in connection with the reorganization of DSYL in Western Nepal.
(f) 1970- Detained for 3 months in Kathmandu for being involved in the organization and inauguration of Nepal Student Union.
(g) 1971 to 1975- Detained for 4 years for being active in revitalizing political activities after the release of the late B.P. Koirala
(h) 1977- Detained for 10 months for being involved in the Patan Conference of the Nepali Congress where the decision was taken to launch a civil disobedience movement(Satyagraha) for the restoration of democracy and the release of the ailing leader B.P. Koirala.
(i) 1979- Detained for 6 months for taking lead role in the movement which ultimately ushered in the referendum to make a choice between multi-party democracy or party less Panchayat constitution.
(j) 1981- Detained for 6 months in connection with the boycott of the elections held as per the party less Panchayat constitution.
(k) 1985 – Detained for 9 months in connection with the civil disobedience movement(Satyagraha)
(l) 1988 – Detained for 3 months on the charge of publishing Nepali Congress organ and for breaching publication Act under Panchayat System.
(m) 1989 – Detained for 5 months in Baglung on the charge of organizing and inspiring people to take part on the Movement for the Restoration of Democracy.
(n) 2003-2005 – Detained for about one and half years in total after Kings directly imposed rule by former King Gyanendra Bikram Shah after the Royal Palace Massacre in 2001.
(o) Numerous other minor detentions during Panchayat system.
Poudel believes that freedom and democracy should prevail in each and every sphere of the socio-cultural, political and economic life styles of the people. Freedom and democracy are the only guarantors which make the people of a country united and strong through its inherent checks and balances.
In Nepal’s context where majority of the people are surviving below the basic minimum needs and in abject poverty, government undertakings are necessary to make at least those basic minimum needs available to the poor. The friendly approach of the government is very necessary in establishing small scale industrial undertakings and prorogation of the appropriate technologies with a view to facilitate employment opportunities throughout the country. It is only in a democracy and in an atmosphere of freedom that the government can play such role without being biased towards any creeds, religion, ethnicity and faith.
The poverty prevailed in the country has been the breeding ground for the communist oriented chauvinistic politics in the country. The Nepali Congress, as a harbinger of democracy and as a champion of freedom of the country has to realize its crucial role at this juncture. It has to keep itself a bit left to the centre on order to check ultra left chauvinism.
Economic development is the only way left to make people realize the fruits of democracy and freedom. But without hindering private sectors enthusiasms , government has to work vigorously on basic education, infrastructure, environmental protection, population control and the relief of poverty. Such market- friendly interventions of the government would only bolster the private sector.
Decentralization is the only way through which the government would be able to exert its usefulness in an egalitarian manner. It is only through decentralization that political, economic and social power can be delegated to a common man. The common man should be able to participate in the development process actively through local self-government. It is through the approach of decentralization that people’s power can be geared up gradually.
As we are in the process of democratization of the whole society, induction of true decentralization approach from the very beginning or groom the grass root level of politico-economic and administrative structures would be of utmost importance for the strengthening of democracy. The experiences earned by developed democratic countries in this context would prove vivid inspirations for us.
Recipient of The Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun,(2020) . The highest level of honour/award by the Japanese Government to any foreign National.