House obstruction ends as parties agree to form disputes panel
August 6, 2019 06:00 AM NPT
Photo by: Dipesh Shrestha
KATHMANDU, Aug 6: A nearly month-long stalemate in parliament ended on Monday after the ruling and opposition parties agreed to a middle way solution in the form of a special parliamentary panel that would suggest ways to resolve similar disputes in future.
With the announcement of a seven-member special parliamentary committee, opposition parties Nepali Congress (NC) and Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) agreed to end their obstruction of the House of Representatives that they had been continuing for the last 26 days.
The opposition parties had been demanding the formation of a parliamentary probe into two different incidents of killing by police in Sarlahi district in June. But they agreed on a committee with a different mandate after the government stood adamant against constituting a special probe into the killing of Kumar Paudel and Saroj Narayan Singh.
Paudel, who was Sarlahi district in-charge of Netra Bikram Chand's outlawed outfit, was reportedly killed in a police 'encounter' in June 20, while Saroj Narayan Singh lost his life in police firing after a street protest erupted over the drowning of a minor in a pit left open by illegal sand miners.
Both opposition parties had demanded a parliamentary investigation into the incidents. They accused police of killing Paudel after taking him under their control and of using excessive force that resulted in Saroj's death .
Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara had proposed forming a dialogue team to resolve the row between ruling and opposition parties. But a meeting of key leaders from both ruling and opposition parties on Monday agreed to form a special committee with a mandate to suggest ways to resolve disputes that arise in the House.
Opposition party leaders have claimed that a decision whether or not to form a parliamentary probe will be taken on the basis on the special committee's report.
Former speaker Subas Nembang has been appointed coordinator of the committee while Minendra Rijal and Pushpa Bhusal from NC, Binda Pandey from ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), Uma Shankar Argariya from Samajbadi Party and Laxman Lal Karna from Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) are its members.
The seven-member special committee formed under Rule 177 of the House Regulations will have 30 days to submit its report.
Meanwhile, Speaker Mahara has directed the government to make public by Monday the report on the Kailali lynchings prepared by a committee headed by former justice Girish Chandra Lal. RJPN has been pressing the government in parliament to make the report public. “I have issued a ruling to the government on this issue time and again. I once again draw the attention of the government and direct it to make the document public at the earliest,” said Mahara.
Mahato flays govt for misleading info on his citizenship
Presidium Member of RJPN Rajendra Mahato has sought the government's clarifications over its decision to scrap the citizenship of a person having the same name as himself.
“The government spokesperson said that the cabinet scrapped the citizenship of eight individuals including one Mahato. Many thought this was none other than myself. Media also carried this news in the same fashion,” Mahato fumed in the House meeting Monday.
“Why was it publicized that my citizenship had been scrapped? Isn't it the duty of the government to make such sensitive information public with the necessary details?”
He was of the view that government spokesperson Gokul Baskota should apologize for spreading misleading information and thus defaming him. The media should also stop portraying him as no longer a Nepali citizen, he added.