Despite NC's protest, House gears up to endorse Medical Education Bill today
January 25, 2019 11:49 AM NPT
KATHMANDU, Jan 25: Despite strong objection from the major opposition Nepali Congress, the House of Representatives of the Federal Parliament is making preparations to endorse the much-talked National Medical Education Bill in the today's session.
"The parliament session has been scheduled for 1 pm today and it's only business plan is to pass the National Medical Education Bill," the speaker's press aide Dilli Malla said.
A meeting of the Business Advisory Committee is currently underway at the Parliament Secretariat to dwell on the agenda for today's parliament meeting. The committee meeting is dwelling on ways to endorse the National Medical Education Bill, Malla said.
The ruling parties' lawmakers have been pressing for the passage of the bill without incorporating the demands raised by Dr Govinda KC while the Nepali Congress lawmakers have been firmly opposing it.
On Thursday, Speaker Mahara held separate meetings with NC Chief Whip Balkrishna Khad and NCP Chief Whip Dev Gurung in a bid to end the ongoing stalemate over the passage of the bill. "The meetings failed to make headway as Khad and Gurung remained firm on their positions," Malla said.
Amid stalemate over the passage of the bill, the parliament session witnessed a scuffle between the lawmakers of Nepal Communist Party and Nepali Congress on Wednesday.
With the main opposition’s strong protest, the government’s plan to endorse the controversial bill is likely to be delayed. Dr Govinda KC, who has been undergoing his 16th fast-unto-death, has been protesting against the bill for not incorporating the agreements reached between the government and himself in the past.
On Wednesday, lawmakers from both ruling and opposition benches resorted to shoving each other as the ruling party lawmakers tried to escort Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel to the rostrum for tabling the disputed bill while opposition lawmakers trooped into the well to obstruct proceedings until their issues were addressed. Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara had to adjourn the meeting for 15 minutes as marshals failed to control the two sides. Eventually, the speaker deferred the meeting for today through a notice, without convening the next sitting.
No sooner had the speaker announced the commencement of the meeting than NC lawmakers rose from their seats and announced that they wouldn’t allow House proceedings until the government decides to give continuity to two hospitals named after two former NC presidents.
The NC had obstructed the parliament meeting on Monday also, accusing the government of trying to dissolve two hospitals named after Nepali Congress leaders Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala by not endorsing the proposal for their continuation through the cabinet. The hospitals are in the process of being established in Tanahun and Banke, respectively.