Govt functioning draws flak in Parliament

Kathmandu, January 26

Ramesh Lekhak, a lawmaker from the main opposition Nepali Congress today called Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and ministers in his government a bunch of jokers for making frivolous statements.

Speaking during the Parliament’s Special Hour today, Lekhak said the prime minister was always making light of serious problems the country was facing and Deputy Prime Minister Chitra Bahadur KC was no less.

He wanted to know whether a deputy prime minister could vote against a government-tabled bill in a parliamentary system as DPM KC had done in the case of constitution amendment bill and how come a majority government repeatedly fails to maintain quorum in the parliament, halting passage of bills.

Yesterday’s Parliament meeting had to be postponed, as it could not pass the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights due to lack of quorum.

The House, however, endorsed the agreement today.

DPM Chitra Bahadur KC, however, defended his move to vote against the said bill. “Nationalism is above the government. Since the amendment bill was brought in the interest of foreign forces going against the national interest, I voted against it,” he told the lawmakers while speaking in the Parliament.

He, however, gave wish-washy reply when asked why he was in a government that brought an anti-national bill.

Meanwhile, speaking in the Zero Hour, UML lawmaker Bhawani Prasad Khapung blamed the NC lawmakers for not participating in the Parliament proceedings, resulting in lack of quorum.

Only Lekhak was present from NC in today’s House meeting.

During the Special Hour, UML’s Dipak Karki criticised the government bodies’ inefficiency in development works in PM Oli’s home district Jhapa.

Aman Lal Modi of Unified CPN-Maoist condemned the killing of three people in Morang in police firing, though Home Minister Shakti Bahadur Basnet belongs to his party.

Meanwhile, the agitating Madhes-based lawmakers continued to boycott the Parliament meeting today as well, demanding that their concerns be addressed.

“The constitution amendment is incomplete, as it neither settles the issue of boundaries of federal units nor does it properly address their concern about proportional inclusion,” said Tarai Madhes Democratic Party member Brijesh Kumar Gupta before Madhes-based lawmakers walked out of the meeting hall.

Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar later scheduled the next meeting of the House after 16 days on February 11, as the government had failed to provide enough business to the Parliament, sources close to her told THT.