Kathmandu, January 27
The main opposition Nepali Congress today decided to hold a massive protest across all 77 districts on February 4 against the ruling party’s act of forcibly getting the National Medical Education Bill endorsed from Parliament.
The House of Representatives on Friday passed the bill despite the obstruction of House proceedings and sloganeering by Nepali Congress lawmakers. The NC is of the view that the bill was passed without giving the opposition a chance to discuss its provisions, and that it violated parliamentary and democratic norms.
A meeting of the central working committee of the NC today decided that the February 4 protests would mainly be against the government’s insensitivity towards Dr Govinda KC, who is on a fast-unto-death, and the move to get endorsed a bill breaching the agreement signed with Dr KC at the initiation of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli himself.
Other issues the NC will take up during the protests include the government’s move to scrap two hospitals named after two former prime ministers — GP Koirala National Centre for Respiratory Diseases based in Dulegauda, Tanahun; and Sushil Koirala Prakhar Cancer Hospital of Khajura, Banke.
The NC will also raise the issue of a meeting of the Constitutional Council convened in the absence of the leader of the Opposition Sher Bahadur Deuba. The meeting convened on January 20 had recommended chairpersons of five constitutional commissions.
Today’s NC CWC meeting also concluded that the government failed to curb the increasing incidents heinous crimes such as murder, violence and rape across the country. It concluded that the government failed to identify culprit(s) in the rape and murder of Nirmala Panta in Kanchanpur even six months after the incident, but rather tried to announce innocent persons as culprits, according to a statement issued by the NC.
Other issues to be raised during the NC protests are skyrocketing prices, corruption and various ‘anti-people’ decisions taken by the government; and other district-level issues.
NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma said NC would take out rallies and organise gatherings across the countries on February 4 to inform the public about the aforementioned issues.
Meanwhile, the NC’s student wing — Nepal Students Union — today organised protests across the capital demanding that the government act to save the life of Dr KC. NSU cadres even burnt an effigy of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli at Chabahil, resulting in a clash between students and security forces.
NSU Vice-president Dilliram Subedi said they would continue their protests across the country unless the government made sure that the National Assembly corrected the medical education bill.
A version of this article appears in print on January 28, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.