KATHMANDU, Jan 10: Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara has instructed the prime minister and other ministers to take questions from lawmakers after addressing the parliament on any issues.
The ruling by the speaker comes in the wake of the main opposition Nepali Congress' obstruction of parliament meeting on Sunday after Prime Minister KP Oli refused to take questions from lawmakers after delivering an address at the meeting. NC lawmakers chanted slogans and protested after the speaker also barred them from putting questions to the prime minister reportedly under pressure from the prime minister.
On Wednesday also, NC lawmakers rose from their seats immediately after the commencement of the parliament meeting and demanded implementation of the parliamentary rule that allows them to question the prime minister and ministers.
“Rule 219 (2) of the parliamentary regulations has allows lawmakers to ask questions to the prime minister and ministers after their address in parliament. But our prime minister's reluctance to face questions shows that he does not feel accountable to parliament. We also want to draw the attention of the speaker to ensure that the regulations are implemented,” said NC chief whip Balkrishna Khand.
Responding to Khand, Speaker Mahara expressed his commitment to ensure that the rule is followed and gave instruction to the prime minister and ministers to face questions from lawmakers.
NC lifted House obstruction following the speaker's ruling, but Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) lawmakers rose from their seats demanding a House ruling to publicize the report of a probe committee on human rights violations during the 2015-16 Madhes agitation.
As per the demand, Speaker Mahara instructed the government to make public the report prepared by Girish Chandra Lal-led probe committee. “The government formed the probe committee under pressure from our party. But the government has kept the report hidden since the past one year and now the prime minister has been making ridiculous claims that he does not have the report,” RJPN leader Laxman Lal Karna said. “If the report is not made public or presented in parliament we will take stringent steps.”