Nepali Congress obstructs House
- National Medical Education Bill controversy
Jul 17, 2018-Differences between the ruling and opposition parties over the controversial National Medical Education Bill have resulted in the disruption of the House of Representatives.
Dozens of laws necessary for a full-fledged implementation of the Constitution of Nepal await parliamentary approval.
Two sittings of the Lower House were obstructed on Monday. The opposition Nepali Congress demanded that the government replace the bill by incorporating the demands of Dr Govinda KC, who has been on a hunger strike in Jumla for more than two weeks.
He demands the National Medical Education Act in line with the recommendations of the taskforce led by Kedar task force Mathema, former vice-chancellor of Tribhuvan University.
The first meeting that started at 1pm was postponed after NC lawmakers stood at their seats saying they would not allow the House business as long as the government was reluctant to address the concerns of the agitating doctor. Congress lawmaker Min Bahadur Bishwokarma said the government must come up with a bill incorporating the recommendations by the Mathema-led task force to save the life of Dr KC. Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara had postponed the meeting by an hour.
However, the scene was no different when the House convened for the second time on Monday with both sides remaining adamant on their positions. NC lawmakers rose from their seats once again to disrupt the House. In parliamentary practice, lawmakers standing signals obstruction of the House business.
“The NC fought against the Ranas and the Panchayat. Now it will fight against the incumbent government which is turning out to be autocratic,” said NC Whip Pushpa Bhusal. “We won’t just wait and see the deteriorating condition of Dr KC.”
She charged the government with serving the interests of a small group of people by ignoring the concerns of Dr KC, who is fighting for the poor’s cause. Ruling party lawmaker Krishna Bhakta Pokharel, however, argued that the NC lawmakers’ approach was against the parliamentary norm. Opposition lawmakers did not allow even Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel to answer their queries.
When his frequent calls to lawmakers for allowing the House proceedings turned futile, Speaker Mahara postponed the meeting until Thursday.
Published: 17-07-2018 08:43