Threatens to obstruct House if there’s attempt to pass the bill ignoring Dr KC’s demands

Kathmandu, January 19

A day after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli told lawmakers he could not ensure incorporation of the points of agreement signed with Dr Govinda KC in the National Medical Education Bill, Nepali Congress leaders slammed the PM for signing ‘a sham agreement’ with Dr KC.

Responding to lawmakers’ questions during question-answer session in the Parliament yesterday, Oli said when the nine-point agreement with Dr KC was signed the situation was different.

The government had signed the pact on July 26 promising to accommodate the contents of the agreement in the National Medical Education Bill, but Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmakers endorsed the bill from the relevant HoR panel without fulfilling Dr KC’s demands. The bill was presented in the HoR on January 13 and a discussion on the bill is expected in the full House tomorrow.

NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma told THT the PM’s response on the bill made it clear he had signed the agreement with Dr KC only to deceive him. Countering Oli’s argument that he did not want to interfere with parliamentary supremacy, Sharma said Oli should implement the pact as his party’s chief whip had registered an amendment in the Parliament proposing to incorporate all the points of the nine-point agreement in the bill. “Majority counts in democracy and Parliament enjoys supremacy, but that does not mean the PM should not use his wisdom while using the majority,” he added.

NC Whip Pushpa Bhusal said her party would devise strategies if the ruling party tried to pass the bill on the basis of majority. “How can the PM sign the agreement and then escape  responsibility?”

NC Lawmaker Gagan Thapa said, “If the PM keeps signing sham agreements, what will be the PM’s image as an institution?” He said backtracking on the agreement could erode the PM’s credibility. Thapa said NC lawmakers would obstruct House proceedings if the ruling party attempted to pass the bill without addressing Dr KC’s demands.

Chief Whip of NCP Dev Gurung said his party would pass the bill without changing its contents as the bill had been forwarded by the relevant panel after holding clause-wise discussion. “The bill was already discussed in the committee. So, it doesn’t need further change in the House,” he said, adding, “The House will conduct its regular business and pass the bill.”