Congress takes winter session as opportunity to attack government

- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Dec 27, 2018-

The winter session of the federal parliament is set to turn into a battleground for the government and the opposition, as the Nepali Congress on Wednesday warned that it would not give up unless the Oli administration books the perpetrators of the Nirmala Pant rape and murder case and clears irregularities in the procurement of two wide-body planes for Nepal Airlines Corporation.

In the first meeting of the winter session on Wednesday, even some lawmakers from the ruling coalition Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal criticised the government. Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba, taking part in deliberations, accused the KP Sharma Oli administration of failing to maintain law and order while impunity continues to rise. 

Referring to Nirmala Pant, whose family has been struggling for justice for nearly six months, Deuba said the case has been a window into the level of incompetency for the administration. Deuba also took a swipe at Oli for attempting to take credit for the contribution-based social security scheme by pouring in a huge sum of money in advertisements even though much of the groundwork for the programme had been done during the Deuba administration. 

Deuba also criticised the Oli government for taking ownership of multi-billion rupees US government-funded Millennium Challenge Corporation project, which too, was also initiated during his tenure.

“We are not going to give up any of these issues unless there are clear answers from the government,” Deuba said in Parliament. 


Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the NCP co-chairman, who addressed the House ahead of Deuba, defended the government, saying that the administration was making efforts to lay the foundation for implementing the statute, development and prosperity.

Sensing the attack from the opposition, Dahal said it was the duty of all the parties, including the NC, which was on the same page while drafting the statute, to work together with the government in endorsing the necessary laws as envisioned by the constitution. 

The winter session of the federal parliament has a little over two months to amend 174 Acts to make them consistent to the Constitution of Nepal that came into effect in 2015. The disruption of the House in any pretext by the opposition will make it hard for the government to have the Acts amended by March 4—the constitutional deadline.

“It is not possible to implement the statute without having needed laws in place. I believe all the parties which were together in the constitution promulgation must work hand in hand in this initiative,” said Dahal.

The results of some of government’s initiative are being seen on the surface already, while many others are in the offing, Dahal said in his address. He, however, conceded that the pace of development failed to meet the people’s expectations from a strong government. 

Dahal, who was the supreme commander of the Maoists, blamed the democratic process saying that it was the main hurdle behind delays in implementation. 

“It takes months to reach a decision under the present set-up, which is also causing delays in some of the decisions,” he told the House.

Members from the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal and the Rastriya Janamorcha, which voted for the incumbent government, refused to buy Dahal’s defence. 

Janata party Chairman Rajendra Mahato said the government was happy patting itself on the back even though the majority of the people are dissatisfied with its action. 

“I ask the government to live in reality,” he said, “and work for the people before it is too late.”

Published: 27-12-2018 06:45

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