Opposition parties not to stall House

Kathmandu, February 24

Three opposition parties — Nepali Congress, Samajwadi Party-Nepal and Rastriya Janata Party- Nepal — today decided not to obstruct proceedings at the House of Representatives over an audiotape scandal involving Gokul Prasad Baskota.

Baskota tendered his resignation as the minister of communications and information technology on Thursday after the release of a audiotape in which he is heard negotiating kickbacks worth Rs 740 million with Bijay Prakash Mishra, the local agent of a Swiss equipment supplier, in the government’s security printing press procurement deal.

The main opposition Nepali Congress had obstructed proceedings of both the HoR and the National Assembly demanding Baskota’s resignation, and clarification from Prime Minister Oli in the House on the issue.

RJP-N Lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna said representatives of the three parties decided there was no need to stall House proceedings after Baskota resigned and the anti-graft body started its investigation into the scandal.

“As far as the issue of the PM’s clarification to the House is concerned, I hope the PM will inform the House on the issue,” Karna added.

NC Whip Pushpa Bhusal said the three opposition parties reached agreement to forge cooperation on issues of national interest.

“We will not stall the House, but our demand for the prime minister’s clarification will remain intact,” said NC Whip Bhusal.