President Bidhya Devi Bhandari, on recommendation of the Council of Ministers, prorogued the House of Representatives at 1:00pm today.

The winter session of the Lower House was prorogued without passing any bill.

Earlier today, the Cabinet had forwarded the recommendation to President Bhandari to prorogue the session of the House of Representatives effective from 1:00pm.

The government had called the HoR session from March 7 as per the Supreme Court decision.

The HoR, which was dissolved by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on December 20, was reinstated on February 23.

The constitutional bench of the Supreme Court had ordered the government to call the new session of the Parliament within 13 days of the verdict. The Nepali Congress and the CPN-MC had flayed the government for not giving business to the HoR, whereas the government had said that there were dozens of bills and agreements, including Millennium Challenge Corporation agreement, which the House should discuss and put to vote.

CPN-MC Spokesperson Narayan Kaji Shrestha said this government was doing nothing right. "Everybody knows that the HoR was prorogued with a mala fide intention," he added. "We will do what we are supposed to do," Shrestha said, hinting that his party could move a no-trust motion against the PM. If the CPN-MC decides to move a notrust motion against the PM, it will also have to petition for special session of the Parliament.

Nepali Congress Chief Whip in the HoR Bal Krishna Khand said he was surprised by the decision to prorogue the House. "The PM had said in the all-party meeting that he would move the MCC agreement ahead in the House and would also facilitate the election of deputy speaker. But now he has recommended the prorogation of the HoR session," said Khand.

Khand said the PM had been trying to render HoR proceedings ineffective from the beginning and ultimately he ended the HoR session without letting the House pass any bill or matters of public importance and urgency motions in the Parliament.

He said thousands of eligible citizens were being deprived of their citizenship certificates just because the House had not passed a new citizenship bill.

"The PM prorogued the House without consulting any political party or office bearers of the Parliament," he added.

Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Lilanath Shrestha said the government decided to prorogue the House to prepare for the budget session, which should be called around the first week of May.

He said the argument that the government did not give business to the HoR was wrong, as there were 26 bills in the HoR for discussion.

"As far as citizenship bill, bill related to civil servants and MCC agreement are concerned, there has to be national consensus to take a final call on these issues and that is hard to achieve at this stage as the parties are deeply divided," Shrestha said.

He said CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal did not attend the all-party meeting.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 20, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.