KATHMANDU, July 9: Lawmakers of the ruling and opposition political parties were divided in the House on Monday over the issues raised by Dr Govinda KC who is on his 15th fast-unto-death in Karnali.
Ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) lawmakers criticized medical sector reform crusader Dr KC “for staging a hunger strike during a communist government at the backing of the main opposition NC.” On the other hand, opposition NC lawmakers came down heavily on the government for being apathetic to “the genuine demands of Dr KC.”
Taking part in the deliberations on a motion of public importance registered by NC lawmakers demanding that Dr KC’s life be saved and his demands addressed, lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties resorted to trading barbs against each other.
Supporting the motion in the meeting of the House of Representatives, NC lawmaker Gagan Thapa urged Prime Minister KP Oli to immediately address the issues raised by Dr KC “by giving up the arrogance of having a two-thirds majority in parliament.”
Recalling how former King Gyanendra’s arrogance led to his downfall, Thapa advised Prime Minister Oli to address KC’s demands outright. He also said that the path taken by Dr KC is quite genuine and democratic.
Similarly, NC lawmaker Minendra Rijal lashed out at the government saying that the path chosen by the government is undemocratic. Tabling the motion at the meeting, NC lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu accused the government of favoring certain interest groups ignoring the demands of Dr KC.
Meanwhile, NCP lawmakers Yogesh Bhattarai, Khagaraj Adhikari and Ganga Chaudhary accused the NC of using Dr KC. “The opposition has been trying emotional blackmail against the government, utilizing Dr KC to save its poor politics. I demand that Dr KC’s life be saved but the demands he has been raising should be discussed openly,” said Bhattarai.
Stating that Nepal already has around 20 medical colleges, he demanded a parliamentary probe committee to investigate whether they had received affiliation meeting the criteria.
Responding to the lawmakers’ concern, Minister for Education and Technology, Giriraj Mani Pokhrel said that the government is for talks between all the stakeholders prior to endorsing the National Medical Education Bill.
“We want consensus with opposition NC on the medical education bill which has been registered in parliament. But we should end the tradition of changing everything through sit-ins. There is nothing that cannot be addressed but we need to seek solutions outside of hunger strikes,” he said.