Maoist lawmaker Dor Prasad Upadhyaya wins PAC chair

KATHMANDU: Dor Prasad Upadhyaya of the CPN Maoist Centre has been elected the Chairperson of the Public Account Committee of the Parliament.

In a voting held on Monday, he defeated Pashupati Chaulagain of the CPN-UML.

Of 50 members of the committee, Upadhyaya had garnered 23 votes against 16 of Chaulagain. Other 11 members were absent during the voting.

Upadhyaya was supported by lawmakers of the ruling coalition parties including Nepali Congress.

The Rastriya Prajatantra Party, however, had voted for Chaulagain despite being a government partner. The party had two members in PAC.

Before this, the Nepal Parliament had a practice that the powerful House panel be led by an opposition lawmaker.

Speaking to media after securing the victory, Upadhyaya said he would work independently in the panel despite being a lawmaker of the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister's party.

Upadhyaya was elected to the legislative body from Kapilbastu district under the Proportional Representation system.

The position was vacant since the then PAC Chair Janardan Sharma resigned from the position after he was assured a ministerial berth in the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led coalition government formed in August last year.