KATHMANDU, MARCH 28
Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota today met Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli after more than three months and discussed ways to make meetings of the House of Representatives effective.
Sapkota had not met Oli since December 15, the day the PM issued an ordinance to amend the provisions of the Constitutional Council Act lowering the quorum for the meeting. Sapkota had abstained from the Constitutional Council meeting.
Relations between Oli and Sapkota soured after the government issued the ordinance. In fact, Sapkota moved the Supreme Court challenging the appointments to constitutional bodies made by the Constitutional Council.
Sapkota's meeting with the PM took place at a time when the government was being accused by lawmakers of parties other than the ruling CPN-UML of not giving business to the HoR. The government's critics say that the government is not giving business to the House because it is trying to build a narrative that the HoR is dysfunctional and the PM's decision to dissolve it was right.
Sapkota's Press Adviser Shreedhar Neupane told THT that Sapkota discussed ways to make HoR meetings effective.
Sapkota is likely to hold meetings with all political parties to discuss ways to make House meetings effective.
Oli's Press Adviser Surya Thapa told THT that it was a courtesy meeting during which the PM told Sapkota that the HoR session would end soon.
UML's Chief Whip Bishal Bhattarai told THT that if nothing unprecedented happened, the government would end the HoR session within two weeks. He said the government was preparing to call the budget session between mid-April and mid- May where lawmakers would discuss the government's policies and programmes before passing the budget.
Bhattarai said people were wrongly accusing the government of not giving business to the HoR. He said 38 bills were in the HoR, some with relevant panels. "Lawmakers can discuss and pass those bills," he added.
He said the government had given business to the HoR on the first day of the session, listing eight ordinances in the business schedule, but due to the speaker's non-cooperation, the government could not table seven ordinances. "They include the ordinance aimed at containing acid attacks and sexual violence.
Since these ordinances could not be tabled in the HoR, they would be invalidated after 60 days," Bhattarai said.
A version of this article appears in the print on March 29, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.