NC obstructs House for third day in a row

Kathmandu, February 9

The main opposition Nepali Congress obstructed the House of Representatives for the third day in a row today in protest against ‘discriminatory’ indictment of NC Vice-president and parliamentary party deputy leader Bijay Kumar Gachhadar in the Baluwatar land-grab case.

The Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority had last Wednesday filed corruption case against 175 individuals, including Gachhadar, for their role in transferring government-owned land in Lalita Niwas, Baluwatar, in individuals’ names.

The NC has since been protesting the ‘selective’ indictment in the Parliament and outside. The NC is of the view that the government influenced an independent and constitutional body — the CIAA — to frame its leader.

According to the NC, the CIAA’s decision to indict Gachhadar for tabling a proposal in the Cabinet to validate Baluwatar land transfer and give clean chits to the then prime ministers Madhav Kumar Nepal and Baburam Bhattarai, who approved the proposal suggested mala fide intention.

“We are not protesting indictment of our leader. We are protesting the discriminatory move of the CIAA,” said NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu at the beginning of today’s HoR meeting.

Although HoR Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota did not allow NC lawmakers to speak, stating they had already presented their views in the House, Badu spoke with the mic off. NC lawmakers stood up as soon as Sapkota announced commencement of today’s proceedings.

As Badu raised his hand requesting that he be allowed to speak, Sapkota said NC lawmakers had already presented their views in the past two HoR meetings, and it would not be appropriate to obstruct the House for long over the same issue.

Sapkota said since the issue had reached the court, it could not be resolved from the Parliament. “The Constitution has clearly stated that any case subjudice in the court cannot be resolved from the Parliament,” said Sapkota. “Obstructing the House where many other issues have to be raised is not wise. Allowing the House to function properly will only maintain dignity of the House.”

However, NC lawmakers did not budge, and the speaker adjourned the House proceedings for Tuesday.

Talking to THT, NC Whip Pushpa Bhusal said since the party’s senior office bearer was ‘discriminatorily’ indicted, it was not only a matter of the parliamentary party, but also the party as a whole. Therefore, the NC central working committee meeting scheduled for tomorrow will take a decision on the matter. “Since we are protesting both in the Parliament and outside, the CWC will chart the future course of action,” said Bhusal.

When asked whether they would continue to obstruct the House until the party takes a decision, Bhusal said the CWC would discuss the matter with top priority and a decision was to be expected soon.

Meanwhile, all sister organisations of the NC, including the Nepal Students Union and Tarun Dal, today staged demonstration at Maitighar Mandala.