HoR continues business without Congress lawmakers

Kathmandu, August 2

Lawmakers of the main opposition boycotted the meeting of House of Representatives today after Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara did not allow them to ask questions to ministers.

Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada presented Insurance Bill for consideration in the House without NC lawmakers’ presence. This is the first time since 2007 that the house business continued without presence of opposition lawmakers.

Addressing the meeting, Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa gave detailed information about the rape and murder of 13-year-old girl in Kanchanpur. He also talked about the attack on lawmaker Niru Pal.

Immediately after Minister Thapa concluded his address, NC lawmakers stood from their seats and requested Speaker Mahara to give them time to ask questions. However, Mahara asked Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradip Kumar Gyawali to brief the meeting on his Europe visit. Following Gyawali’s briefing, NC lawmakers again requested the speaker to allow them time to ask questions to home minister, but the speaker refused.

NC lawmaker Minendra Rijal said he wanted to ask question as per rule 219 of the HoR Regulation. But, Mahara said the home minister had answered questions raised during zero hour and special hour and there was no rule that allowed lawmakers to ask questions whenever they wanted.

After boycotting the HoR meeting, NC Chief Whip Balkrishna Khand said the government was moving towards authoritarian rule. He also accused Speaker Mahara of being biased.  Later, talking to journalists, Speaker Mahara said it was not the first time that the House meeting continued without the presence of opposition lawmakers.