Sunday, 19th May, 2019

House adjourned until Friday


The House of Representatives (HoR) has been adjourned till Friday after obstruction by lawmakers of the  main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC).

Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara got a notice issued stating the House meeting will next be held at one Friday afternoon after second adjournment on Tuesday.

NC lawmakers earlier stopped Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giri Raj Mani Pokharel from presenting the Medical Education Bill to enforce the second adjournment of the day.

Speaker Mahara called minister Pokharel to present the bill immediately after resumption of the House following the earlier adjournment. Chief Whip of CPN Dev Gurung and CPN lawmaker Khag Raj Adhikari escorted Pokharel to help him get to the rostrum. But NC lawmakers stopped them. The NC and CPN lawmakers even grappled for a while before speaker Mahara adjourned the House for another 15 minutes.

The House was adjourned earlier after obstruction of NC lawmakers accusing the government of trying to dissolve hospitals opened in the name of former prime ministers (PM) Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala.

NC leader Prakash Man Singh speaking at the start of the meeting said the party will not allow the House to run until the government takes decision to keep the hospitals under the federal government. He also slammed the government’s efforts to try to pass the Medical Education Bill prepared in violation of the agreement the KP Sharma Oli government signed with Dr Govinda KC during the last hunger strike.

NC lawmakers moved toward the well of the House immediately after Singh completed his speech. They were stopped by the marshals.

NC lawmakers complained that the marshals stopped them far away from the well of the House. “So, the marshals now decide until where the lawmakers can go. Is it a decision of the speaker or the home minister?” NC lawmaker Minendra Rizal asked.

Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara adjourned the House for 15 minutes after NC lawmakers did not return to their seats despite repeated requests by him pointing that he has already drawn the government’s attention toward the issue.

The Sushil Koirala government had opened the Girija Prasad Koirala Center for Respiratory Diseases in Tanahu in 2014 and the coalition government of Pushpa Kamal Dahal including NC and the then CPN (Maoist Center) in 2016 opened the Sushil Koirala Cancer Hospital in Banke in 2016.

The Health Ministry on January 3 had proposed to keep 11 hospitals including the two under the federal government but the Cabinet refused to keep the two hospitals opened in the name of former NC presidents under the federal government leaving them vulnerable to dissolution.

Both the HoR and National Assembly meetings were adjourned after NC obstruction even on Monday. The National Assembly was adjourned until January 28 on Monday but Speaker Mahara called the HoR meeting for three Tuesday afternoon despite NC lawmakers requesting to adjourn it until Prime Minister Oli returns from Davos and takes Cabinet decision to include the two hospitals under the federal government.

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