KATHMANDU, JULY 25
CPN-UML lawmaker Naradmuni Rana, who is close to UML Chair KP Sharma Oli, incurred the wrath of Madhav Kumar Nepal, UML lawmakers close to Nepal, and CPN-Maoist Centre lawmakers in the International Relations Committee of the House of Representatives when he said Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's government came into being due to of a court directive, but did not enjoy people's support.
Nepal, Deepak Prakash Bhatt, and Sarala Yadav, who are members of the committee, opposed Rana's remarks. Nepal and Bhatta said Rana's views were regressive and he should leave the parliamentary committee meeting.
Rana berated UML lawmakers of the Nepal faction for helping the opposition by remaining absent during the vote of confidence sought by former prime minister KP Sharma Oli in the HoR. Rana tried to pin the blame for the dissolution of the House on Nepal. That led Nepal to call Rana regressive and sought his resignation from the committee.
Bhatt told THT that he only enquired whether or not Rana, who was a minister in the Oli Cabinet for a few days, had followed the due process of attending the parliamentary committee meeting. "Once a lawmaker becomes minister, he cannot directly attend the parliamentary committee meeting without fulfilling some formalities," I wanted to raise this issue," he added.
Before the meeting began, Nepali Congress lawmaker Divya Mani Rajbhandari drew the attention of committee Chair Pavitra Niraula Kharel saying that a member of a parliamentary committee, who became a minister, could not attend the parliamentary committee that s/he was a member before becoming a minister. Rajbhandari said it was a mistake on Kharel's part to allow Rana to attend today's meeting.
He said lawmaker Renuka Gurung, who was a member of parliamentary committee on international relations, left the meeting hall after he pointed out that she was a women, children and senior citizens' minister in the Oli Cabinet.
Lawmaker Rana was appointed Minister of Forest and Environment on June 10.
Rajbhandari said he told Kharel that traditionally a member of committee who became a minister was not allowed to return to the same committee, but could join the committee related to his/her ministry.
According to Rajbhandari, Kharel then told the panel that she allowed Rana to take part in the panel's meeting because as per the Supreme Court verdict in the House of Representatives dissolution case, the period between the HoR dissolution and the SC verdict was a zero period.
Rajbhandari said since Rana had already performed his duties as a minister and had received pay and perks for the period in question, he should not be allowed to take part in the panel's meeting.
But Kharel did not accept Rajbhandari's argument.
A version of this article appears in the print on July 26 2021, of The Himalayan Times.