Speaker Mahara has become govt’s puppet: NC leader Yadav (With video)

Nepal flood, Nepal parliament


KATHMANDU, July 16:  The parliament is under the government’s control and Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has become the government’s puppet, said Mahendra Yadav, a leader of main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC).

The House of Representatives meeting scheduled to be held on Monday, which was expected to discuss the devastation across the country resulted by the floods and landslides triggered by days of incessant monsoon rainfall which left over 65 dead and thousands displaced, was put off until July 24.

“Postponing the parliament meeting at the time of National disaster is wrong,” said Mahendra Yadav, leader of main opposition party Nepali Congress in a television interview Janata Janna Chahanchan.

The opposition parties NC and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) had registered a motion on the matter of public importance seeking a discussion on the havoc caused by flood and landslides triggered by monsoon rainfall across the country.

However, Speaker Mahara, who according to NC Chief Whip Bal Krishna Khand was positive about the meeting, later adjourned the meeting.

According to Mahara’s press advisor Dilli Malla, the Speakers postponed the meeting to avoid yet another House obstruction. The opposition parties have been obstructing the parliament since July 9 demanding formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate the loss of two lives in police firing in Sarlahi.

Yadav said that the oppositions did not request the Speaker to convene the meeting to obstruct it but to discuss the ways to support the people affected by rain-related disasters.

“We requested the Speaker to call a House meeting to discuss the devastation across the country resulted by monsoon floods and landslides. We showed that we are with the government to support the affected people,” said Yadav.

“We did not want to block the House proceedings. But the Speaker put up a notice announcing the cancelation of the meeting blocking the discussion,” added Yadav.

“The government should have co-operated us. The meeting should not have been deferred for a week when the nation is suffering from natural disasters.”

The Speaker’s decision has also raised questions on his ability to play a neutral role in the parliament yet again. Mahara has faced criticisms for supporting the Nepal Communist Party earlier as well when the ruling party bulldozed the National Medical Education Bill through the parliament despite strong NC protest. Mahara’s ability was also questioned when he did not allow NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba to speak in the parliament prior to Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli when the controversial Guthi Bill was registered at the National Assembly.

According to reports, the Speaker canceled the meeting following the direct instruction from the prime minister.

“Mahara is the Speaker of Nepal Communist Party. It is clear that the parliament is under government control,” fumed Yadav.

“Speaker cannot take a party’s side. He should act neutral,” he added.

“But the Speaker has become the government’s puppet here,” he said.

Yadav also urged the government to convene the parliament meeting as soon as possible so that all the political parties and leaders could work together to support the people who are in need.

Yadav also accused the government of failing to help and provide relief to the flood and landslides affected people.

The television interview also witnessed a heated debate between leader Yadav and NCP lawmaker Yagya Raj Sunuwar as Sunuwar was defending the government.