KATHMANDU, June 17: The main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) has expressed solidarity with the protest pro-Guthi supporters, stakeholders and culture activists who have launched protest against the controversial Guthi Bill expressing dissatisfaction over some of the provisions–especially the formation of Guthi Authority to oversee the Guthi properties that would effectively end the role of existing trustees who have so far been running the Guthis and the provision that would allow one occupying the Guthi land to acquire ownership certificates. The NC has also warned to take to the street if the Bill is not withdrawn immediately.
“The party will hit the street if the Bill is not pulled out immediately,” said lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu during a session of the House of Representatives on Monday.
The Guthi Bill was registered at the National Assembly, the upper house in the bicameral Federal Parliament, a few days ago.
After the NC stood from their respective seats as a symbol of protest, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara allowed Badu to put forth his views.
Badu also said that the party has reservations over the recent statement by the government Spokesperson and Minister for Communications and Information Technology Gokul Baskota who, in the defense of the Bill, has said the Guthi tradition is a symbol of feudalism.
The ministers’ statement had irked the already annoyed protesters, who, despite Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli assuring the Bill will be revised, organized torch rallies on Sunday evening and have yet to withdraw their demonstration program at Maitighar Mandala on June 19.
Stating that the minister publicly termed the Guthi, as a residue of feudalism, Badu accused the government of intending to eliminate religion, tradition, customs, culture, heritage and originality as it had been over excited on the back support of the two-thirds majority.
The protesters and the ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmakers have also demanded the resignation of Minister Baskota warning a decisive protest if the issue is not addressed by Monday.