Kathmandu, February 4
The main opposition party Nepali Congress today organised a nationwide protest against the government’s ‘authoritarian’ move of forcibly getting the National Medical Education Bill endorsed from the Parliament as well as its failure to maintain law and order and control corruption, among others.
The NC also raised the issue of a meeting of the Constitutional Council convened in the absence of leader of the Opposition Sher Bahadur Deuba. The meeting convened on January 20 had recommended chairpersons for the five constitutional commissions.
The party took out rallies across all 77 districts, where participants chanted slogans such as ‘stop authoritarian style’, ‘follow parliamentary norms’, ‘control murder and violence’, ‘deliver justice to Nirmala Panta’, ‘control skyrocketing prices’, and ‘roll back exorbitant tax hikes’, among others.
The demonstrators demanded a fair investigation into irregularities in Nepal Airlines jet-purchase scam. They also raised issues such as the government’s decision to award the contract of the Budhigandaki hydropower project to a foreign company without competition, and delay in the construction of the Second International Airport in Nijgad as a result of the proposal to chop off double the required number of trees.
The other corruption scams that the NC raised were the government’s failure to arrest the ‘big fish’ in the 33kg gold smuggling scandal, and the release of more amount than the actual market price while procuring 11 vehicles by the Province 5 Assembly Secretariat.
The demonstrators also demanded that the government curb increasing incidents of heinous crime such as murder, violence and rape across the country.
They demanded that the government immediately identify and book the culprit(s) in the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta in Kanchanpur.
In Kathmandu, the NC took out a rally that passed through the thoroughfares of the city before converging into a corner meeting at Shanti Vatika, Ratna Park. Addressing the corner meet, NC leaders urged the people to protest against the government’s authoritarian moves.
Senior NC leader Prakash Man Singh warned the government not to take the NC that had been playing the role of a responsible opposition lightly. He said the people would topple this government if it took the NC, which had played the lead role in toppling the Rana regime and the Panchayat regime and in establishing the federal democratic republic system.
A version of this article appears in print on February 05, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.