NC dissatisfied with Speaker’s role at parliament

Gagan Thapa, Nepali Congress general convention

KATHMANDU, Jan 24: Main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) leader Gagan Thapa Thursday expressed his dissatisfaction toward Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara’s role at the parliament

After the opposition NC obstructed the House on Tuesday over the issues of controversial National Medical Education Bill and two hospitals named after late Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala, the Speaker Mahara adjourned the House twice for 15 minutes before putting off until Friday.

The Members of Parliament resorted to scuffle when Mahara requested Minister for Education, Science and Technology Girirajmani Pokharel to table bill at the parliament while the NC protest was on. The NC lawmakers had blocked the minister from reaching the rostrum who is being escorted by Nepal Communist Party lawmakers.

The NC has accused the Speaker of running the parliament in interest of the ruling party.

“A Speaker should remain neutral inside the parliament. But we haven’t found this in the Speaker,” fumed former Health Minister Thapa at an interaction program organized by Reporters Club Nepal.

“The Speaker has acted going against the House’s norms and values.”

“Mahara should take the middle path instead of following orders from a party.”

The ruling party is preparing to push the Bill for endorsement when the parliament meets Friday afternoon.

Thapa added that the NC will not tolerate if the government tries to endorse the bill forcefully in the next meeting.

“The government can look for a solution finding a ground for agreement with Dr KC and the opposition party. But if the government uses power to endorse the bill and enforce its decisions, NC will not keep silent tomorrow,” he added.

NC has accused the government of endorsing the bill going against the agreement forged with Dr Govinda KC, who is on his 16th hunger strike for the past two weeks demanding reforms in medical education sector. But the ruling party has asserted that the bill was prepared following a thorough parliamentary process.

Leader Thapa also urged the government approve the proposal for Girija Prasad Koirala Respiratory Hospital and Sushil Koirala Cancer Hospital to be kept under federal government arguing that the tussle was not about the hospitals but the existence of late leaders.