Government not serious about Dr KC’s demand: NC

Kathmandu, July 16

The main opposition Nepali Congress today obstructed proceedings at the House of Representatives twice.

NC lawmakers asked the government to save Dr Govinda KC, who has been on hunger strike from June 30, at the soonest possible and come up with the same provision, which was prepared by the previous Deuba-led government in the National Medical Education Ordinance.

NC lawmakers stood from their seats immediately after HoR Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara announced the meeting. Mahara requested the NC lawmakers to sit and allow the House to run, but NC lawmakers led by party General Secretary Sashanka Koirala disobeyed Mahara.

Minister of Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel was supposed to introduce a National Health Education Bill, which was registered on July 6 at the Parliament Secretariat. But this was not possible.

NC lawmaker Min Bahadur Bishwakarma slammed the government for not being serious about peoples’ demand. “The government must be serious about health education sector of the country,” Bishwakarma said, adding that the government was going about like an authoritarian.

In the first business session of the day’s meeting, Mahara told NC lawmakers the government was serious about the issues and he had already informed them about it. Lawmakers from the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Krishna Bhakta Pokharel and Khagaraj Adhikari criticised the Congress for not letting the House go about with its business.

But NC lawmakers continued to stand and Speaker Mahara postponed the meeting for half-an-hour. After a half-an-hour, the meeting again started, but NC lawmakers again stood up and obstructed House proceedings.

Puspa Bhusal, whip of the NC parliamentary party, spoke against the government for not accepting Dr KC’s demand. She said the government was not doing its job properly. “We have to save Dr KC’s life, but the government is not serious about it.”

Though, Speaker Mahara requested NC lawmakers to sit down repeatedly, the latter refused. So, Mahara announced that the next meeting of House would be on July 19.

Later, talking to a journalist, former prime minister and Co-chair of the NCP Pushpa Kamal Dahal said the misunderstanding between the government and the NC should be resolved through dialogue. He said the previous government had reached agreement with Dr KC, so it should be executed by this government too.

But another former prime minister from the ruling party Madhav Kumar Nepal criticised the NC for not letting Parliament work. “What is meant by the parliamentary system? Does it mean we have to do only what the NC says,” he said, adding, so the majority can’t do anything?

The key provisions of the previous Ordinance Bill is that it does not allow health education institutions to open in Kathmandu valley for 10 years.