NC foils tabling of Reconstruction Authority Bill

UDMF leaders tell leaders of major parties they will allow the passage of Reconstruction Authority Bill to help quake-hit families

Kathmandu, December 10

Reconstruction Authority Bill could not be tabled in the Parliament today, as the main opposition objected to its tabling although agitating United Democratic Front that has been halting the parliamentary proceedings agreed to let the revised bill be tabled.

Objecting to the removal of the Constitution Amendment Bill from today’s business schedule by the parliamentary secretariat on the instruction of the government, the NC demanded to table both the bills together.

Ruling parties and UDMF, however, said the Constitution Amendment Bill could be tabled only after there was an agreement among the major parties and the UDMF.

Immediately after Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar began today’s House meeting, NC lawmakers stood up to express their objection. Speaker then let NC lawmaker Ramesh Lekhak speak.

He said the House would not function until the Constitution Amendment Bill was added to the House’s business schedule.

Gharti repeatedly told the lawmakers to have their seats and promised to include the bill in the schedule during the next meeting of the House but NC lawmakers did not relent.

NC lawmakers did not even obey NC Vice-president Ramchandra Paudel, who repeatedly urged them to have their seats, as the Speaker assured the House to include the bill in the business schedule at the next meeting of the Parliament.

As the commotion continued, the speaker adjourned the House meeting till 3:00pm tomorrow.

Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Agni Prasad Kharel said the NC leaders had agreed during the meeting of major parties with the UDMF held before the House meeting began, to let the House run. “NC’s five senior leaders Sher Bahadur Deuba, Ramchandra Paudel, Prakash Man Singh, Krishna Sitaula and Ram Sharan Mahat had agreed to table RA Bill today and the Constitution Amendment Bill after forging consensus on it.

The five NC leaders could not be contacted for their response. Paudel attended the House meeting while others left the Parliament building without attending the meeting that began almost five hours behind schedule.

But NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha claimed that NC leaders had not agreed to remove Constitution Amendment Bill from today’s business schedule.

Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal’s Chief Whip Shivajee Yadav said UDMF would not agree to table the Constitution Amendment Bill until there was an agreement between the major parties and the UDMF. “Since the bill doesn’t meet our demands, including it in today’s business schedule is meaningless” he said.

NC leader Lekhak, however, said the Constitution Amendment Bill can be amended if the parties reached an agreement but removing it from the House business was not acceptable, as it had provisions to address the concerns of agitating parties. Both the bills were introduced by the NC-led previous government.

UDMF leaders, meanwhile, told the leaders of the major parties that they would allow the passage of the Reconstruction Authority Bill and any other bill that would seek to aid the earthquake affected families on humanitarian grounds.