Minister of Finance Janardan Sharma today presented the Replacement Bill in the second meeting of the House of Representatives amid CPN-UML lawmakers' sloganeering to replace the budget brought by the erstwhile KP Sharma Oli government through ordinance.

CPN-UML lawmakers obstructed the proceedings of the House of Representatives and National Assembly today over the alleged bias of Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota. UML lawmakers have accused Sapkota of aiding the split in their party by not confirming the expulsion of 14 UML lawmakers, including Madhav Kumar Nepal, who split the UML and formed CPN (Unified Socialist) after the Sher Bahadur Deuba government issued an ordinance lowering the threshold for splitting political parties.

UML lawmakers swarmed the House well as soon as Speaker Sapkota began the House proceedings and started chanting slogans. Marshals prevented protesting lawmakers from getting into the House well.

During the second meeting of the House, two protesting lawmakers tried to break the security cordon in their bid to reach the rostrum area but they were prevented by the marshals.

Sapkota reminded UML lawmakers that the issue was sub judice at the Supreme Court and it should not be raised in the House, but UML lawmakers continued to raise slogans. Sapkota adjourned the House meeting more than once for a few minutes.

Deputy parliamentary party leader of the UML Subas Chandra Nembang told THT that the ruling alliance and the speaker, who were supposed to reach out to the main opposition party, had not taken any initiative to address its concerns and had deliberately chosen confrontational path. "We have a genuine reason to protest against the speaker for not confirming the expulsion of 14 UML lawmakers. Sapkota appeared to have aided the split of our party," Nembang said. He added that his party would continue to protest against Sapkota's discriminatory behaviour.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Gagan Kumar Thapa, however, told mediapersons after the House meeting that since the UML accused speaker of bias and demanded expulsion of 14 lawmakers, there was no room for the ruling alliance to find a negotiated settlement with the UML. He said UML's rigid stance forced Sharma to present the Replacement Bill ignoring the main opposition party's protest.

UML lawmakers had obstructed proceedings of the House on Wednesday as well.

In the Upper House, Home Minister Bal Krishna Khand presented the Political Part Act (Second Amendment) Ordinance amid the UML lawmakers' protest.

The HoR meeting earlier approved the Economic Ordinance, the Ordinance to Mobilise Internal Loans, and the Appropriations Ordinance.