KATHMANDU, AUGUST 16
The government prorogued the current session of the Parliament with effect from midnight today, drawing condemnation from the CPN-UML and the Mahantha Thakur-Rajendra Mahato faction of the Janata Samajbadi Party-Nepal.
The Cabinet today recommended that the president prorogue the parliamentary session from midnight.
According to Assistant Spokesperson for the Parliament Secretariat Dasharath Dhamala, the House of Representatives and the National Assembly held 10 and 12 meetings, respectively, since the HoR was reinstated by the Supreme Court on July 12. The first meeting of the House was convened on July 18 after the second reinstatement of the House.
In the past one month, the National Assembly, the Upper House of the Parliament, passed seven bills and sent them to the HoR, but the Lower House did not pass any bill. There are 37 bills under the consideration of the HoR and 12 bills under consideration of the NA. Some urgent bills, including citizenship bill and federal civil service bill were also not passed.
Deputy Parliamentary Party Leader of the CPN-UML Subas Chandra Nembang told THT that the ruling coalition was trying to evade the Parliament by abruptly ending the parliamentary session. He said the government's decision to end the House session on the day when the speaker had directed the government to furnish its reply to lawmakers' queries was akin to defying the sovereign Parliament.
He said the government had failed to give full shape to the Cabinet or give business to the Parliament.
He pointed out that the government had also failed to appoint a foreign minister to coordinate Nepal's response to the situation in Afghanistan where hundreds of Nepalis had been stranded after Taliban took over.
Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna, who is from the Thakur-Mahato faction of the party, said the government prorogued the Parliament because it lacked majority in the House.
He said Deuba won the vote of confidence because whips didn't apply to that process, but the government feared that it would be rendered in minority if it moved any bill in the House.
"The Deuba government did not pass or bring any bill because it knew that the bill would not pass," Karna said. He said the HoR would not be able to function properly and a fresh mandate was the only way out.
He said neither the 22 CPN- UML lawmakers who defied the party's whip to vote in favour of Deuba during the floor test nor the Thakur-Mahato faction of the JSP-N that had supported the PM during the trust vote would always support the PM or the government.
Karna said a rumour was rife that the government prorogued the Parliament so as to bring a new ordinance to relax a key provision of Political Party Act so that the Madhav Kumar Nepal-Jhalanath Khanal faction of the UML could easily split the party. "If that is the case, then the Deuba government will be no different from the Oli government that brought multiple ordinances bypassing the Parliament."
A version of this article appears in the print on August 17 2021, of The Himalayan Times.