The main opposition party CPN-UML boycotted an all-party meeting called by Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to discuss the stalemate in the Parliament.

The CPN-UML has been obstructing proceedings of the Parliament accusing Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota of aiding the split in the party by not confirming the expulsion of 14 UML lawmakers.

UML boycotted the meeting as the PM had invited the newly formed CPN (Unified Socialist) as well.

The faction of the UML led by Madhav Kumar Nepal and Jhalanath Khanal had split the party and formed CPN (Unified Socialist). Earlier, the UML had also boycotted an all-party meeting called by Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota.

Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Gyanendra Bahadur Karki told mediapersons after the all-party meeting that the UML was running away from talks.

According to Karki, Deuba would call another meeting soon to end the House impasse. He hoped that the UML would attend it.

Karki said there were 33 bills in the House of Representatives and 27 bills in the National Assembly under consideration, but due to the UML's continued obstruction in the House, the bills were stalled. Karki said the all-party meeting urged UML and its chief KP Sharma Oli to play a constructive role to let the House carry out its proceedings unhindered and in a dignified manner.

The UML has been obstructing House proceedings since September 8 when the new session of the Parliament began.

Asked why the UML boycotted the all-party meeting today, UML leader Khagaraj Adhikari said his party did so to protest the presence of CPN (Unified Socialist) in the meeting. "We cannot take part in a meeting where CPN (Unified Socialist) has also been invited," he said. Attending such a meeting will mean that we recognise the legitimacy of CPN (Unified Socialist). "The reality is that CPN (Unified Socialist) was registered illegally. It did not even have 20 per cent support that the Political Party Act (Second Amendment) entailed for splitting parties," he argued.

Adhikari said if the Speaker or the PM wanted to end obstruction in the House, they should hold an in-person meeting with Oli.

He said that the government was trying to repeal political appointments made in the past and if that happened, his party chair would not attend the Constitutional Council's meeting as the leader of the opposition.

Meanwhile, UML lawmakers stalled the House of Representatives proceedings today as well.

Speaker Sapkota urged UML lawmakers to end their obstruction, saying their continued obstruction had deprived the House of discussion of crucial national agenda. UML lawmakers ignored the speaker's call and continued to chant slogans. Amidst UML lawmakers' obstruction, the speaker read out the message of certification of two bills sent by the president. He also allowed Minister of Law, Justice, and Parliamentary Affairs Gyanendra Bahadur Karki to table the auditor general's 58th annual report. As UML lawmakers continued to protest against the speaker's alleged bias, the speaker adjourned the House till Tuesday.

A version of this article appears in the print on October 1 2021, of The Himalayan Times.