Nepali Congress obstructs House again

Kathmandu, December 13

The main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, today continued to obstruct the meeting of Legislature Parliament protesting to removal of the Constitution Amendment Bill registered by previous NC-led government from the business schedule of the House.

As the NC and the United Democratic Madhesi Front stuck to their conflicting stances, the plan of tabling another bill related to the reconstruction authority did not materialise today as well.

The NC had obstructed the House meeting on Thursday and Friday as well on the same issue.

As soon as Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar began today’s meeting, NC’s lawmakers stood up to demand time for speaking. Speaker then provided time to NC’s Chief Whip Chinkaji Shrestha, who said the House could not function until the Constitution Amendment Bill was included in the business schedule of the House.

“Since the Constitution Amendment Bill was introduced in the business schedule of the Parliament as per the agreement between three major parties, it should be tabled, along with the authority related bill,” Shrestha said.

The NC turned down Speaker’s request to let the House table the reconstruction authority bill. She also assured the NC that the Constitution Amendment Bill would be included in the business schedule of the Parliament’s next meeting but the NC rejected it. Speaker then postponed the meeting until 1:00pm on Tuesday.

Earlier, at a meeting of chief whips organised by the Speaker, the NC tried to assure the UDMF representatives that it would continue its efforts to address the concerns of the UDMF even after the Constitution Amendment Bill is tabled, according to Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal’s Chief Whip Shivajee Yadav.

But Yadav said, “We cannot allow any other bill to be tabled until there is a fresh agreement among parties on our concerns,” Yadav said.

Although the bill was in the business schedule in previous meetings after three major parties reached three-point agreement on December 4, it was removed from the schedule after the UDMF agreed to table the Reconstruction Authority Bill on the condition that the Constitution Amendment Bill would be removed from the business schedule.

The UDMF stated that the Constitution Amendment Bill cannot be tabled until there was a fresh deal on the issues of the new constitution.

NC, however, said the bill could be modified through amendment proposals even after it was tabled if the parties seal a new deal on the concerns of the Madhes-based parties.