KATHMANDU, July 8: Lawmakers elected under the first-past-the-post (FPTP) category have accused Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Kamal Thapa of attempting to curtail their rights for fulfilling his partisan interest.
The lawmakers were irked after the ministry proposed amendments to the Constituency Infrastructure Development Special Program Regulation 2014 with a provision that lawmakers elected under proportional representation can also be coordinators of the Program Direction and Management Committee to be formed under the constituency infrastructure development special program in each constituency.
The government has allocated Rs 30 million as part of the special program for infrastructural development of each constituency for the next fiscal year.
The committee is responsible for finalizing development projects and executing them.
Lawmaker Ganesh Singh Thagunna accused the deputy prime minister of trying to amend the regulations with a vested interest to benefit his Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) lawmakers.
“As Thapa's party has no lawmaker elected under the first-past-the-post category in parliament, his lawmakers could not be part of the special program and carry out development works. So, this attempt to amend the regulation is solely aimed at benefitting his lawmakers.
We, directly elected lawmakers, should never allow this to happen,” Thagunna appealed to other directly-elected lawmakers during the parliament's Development Committee's meeting on Thursday.
He argued that only directly-elected lawmakers should be allowed to claim the committee coordinator post.
Sita Devi Yadav, another lawmaker, who is also treasurer of the Nepali Congress, criticized Deputy Prime Minister Thapa for trying to amend the proposal just to fulfill his partisan interest.
“Any amendment to the regulation based on personal and party-based biases is objectionable. I strongly condemn the ministry's move to amend the existing regulation,” she added.
Guru Prasad Burlakoti, another lawmaker, said that there was no need of amendment in the existing provision in the regulation. “I am shocked why the ministry felt the need to amend it right now.
There should be no doubt that only a directly-elected lawmaker should be coordinator of the committee under the special program,” he said.
He even warned of picketing the ministry of federal affairs and local development if the ministry amended the existing provision in the regulation.
At the meeting, lawmakers elected under the first-past-the-post system accused Deputy Prime Minister Thapa of trying to create division between lawmakers elected under FPTP and proportional representation systems.
Meanwhile, secretary of the ministry said that the regulation was being amended to make it compatible with the new constitution.
Of the total 601 lawmakers in parliament, 240 lawmakers have been elected under FPTP, 335 under Proportional Representation and 26 others are nominated by the government.