Kathmandu, June 17
President and parliamentary party leader of the main opposition Nepali Congress Sher Bahadur Deuba has directed his party lawmakers to play active role in the Parliament.
Amid criticism that the NC was not playing an active role as the main opposition in the Federal Parliament — House of Representatives and the National Assembly — Deuba, recently, called NC lawmakers from both houses and asked them to play dynamic role as lawmakers in both the houses as well as in the committees.
The NC has 63 lawmakers in the HoR and 13 lawmakers in the NA. There are altogether 16 panels, 10 from the HoR and four from the NA. The remaining two panels are joint committees.
Deuba’s directive came after the NC formed a shadow government with coordinators and co-coordinators for each of the 21 ministries. “After the party president’s direction we have started our own attendance system in the parliamentary party office,” said Bahadur Singh Lama, a shadow minister of Communications and Information Technology.
He also said Deuba had directed lawmakers to look carefully the bills the government had registered and presented in the Parliament.
“The government has come up with one disputed bill after another. Most of the bills are against the spirit of the constitution and federalism. For example, the Media Council Bill curtails the right to expression and press freedom. So, we need to be careful,” Lama said of Deuba’s statement.
NC has expressed concerns about the National Security Council Bill, Guthi (Trust) Bill, Media Council Bill, Information and Technology Bill, Federal Civil Servants Bill, National Citizenship Bill, National Human Rights Commission Bill and Bill to Speed up Construction and Development of National Pride Projects.
According to a lawmaker from the NC, those lawmakers, who do not play active role in both the houses and committees, will not be allowed time and space to speak at full house meetings. “So, the lawmakers should be regular in the House,” Lama added.
Deuba also asked former lawmakers such as Ramesh Lekhak, Ram Hari Khatiwada and others to come regularly to the parliamentary party office and help other lawmakers with the party’s agenda. “Former lawmakers’ duty is not only to meet lawmakers but also tell them about the agenda and suggest raising issues in the houses,” the lawmakers said, adding that they could also make suggestions on drafting bills.
A version of this article appears in print on June 18, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.