Opposition's relations with speaker sour further

Published On: July 30, 2019 05:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Mahara leaves NC, RJPN legislators standing in well for 40 minutes

KATHMANDU, July 30: Against a background of souring relations with the opposition parties, Speaker of the House of Representatives Krishna Bahadur Mahara has left opposition MPs standing for about 40 minutes after the latter trooped into the well chanting slogans to obstruct the House, Monday.

Speaker Mahara's conduct has further irked the opposition lawmakers, who have been demanding a parliamentary probe into the killings of two individuals in different incidents of police gunfire in Sarlahi district last month.

Although the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) and opposition party Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) have been demanding a parliamentary probe, Speaker Mahara has been deflecting the demand, apparently under pressure from the government.

The two opposition parties have been jointly exerting pressure from parliament to investigate the June 20 killing of outlawed Communist Party Nepal district in-charge Kumar Paudel in a police 'encounter' and the June 30 death of Saroj Narayan Singh in police gunfire .

Singh was killed during a protest staged by locals after a 12-year-old drowned in a ditch dug up on the banks of a river by sand excavators.

The two opposition parties lifted their obstruction of the House last week to allow discussions on a motion of urgent public importance on flood disaster, but they resumed their obstruction on Monday, pointing out that their demand had not been met .

When the House meeting on Monday started, lawmakers from the NC and RJPN rose from their seats to obstruct the proceedings. Unlike in the past, Speaker Mahara didn't defer the meeting immediately but left the opposition lawmakers standing in the well for 40 minutes chanting slogans.

Mahara tried to pacify the opposition lawmakers, stating that government attention had already been drawn towards the issue.

The lawmakers have accused the speaker of trying to avoid forming a probe, under pressure from the government. The meeting of the House of Representatives has been deferred until Wednesday, following the obstruction by the opposition.

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