Sunday, 19th May, 2019

CPN determined to pass Medical education Bill suppressing main opposition NC

The ruling CPN is determined to pass the Medical Education Bill through the parliament by suppressing the main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC).

The party is preparing to pass the bill even as Dr Govinda KC is into the 13th day of his 16th fast-unto-death stating that the bill violates the agreement the KP Sharma Oli government signed while ending his last hunger strike in July.

The party plans to pass the bill before Prime Minister (PM) Oli returns home from Davos. It had issued whip instructing all the lawmakers to be present in the House of Representatives (HoR) meeting on Monday but the House was adjourned due to protest of NC against the government’s attempt  to dissolve the hospitals opened in the name of former prime ministers (PM) Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala.

CPN has deemed that NC obstructed the House to stop the bill in the name of the hospitals.

CPN during the meeting with the opposition party in the parliament premises on Monday had proposed to make commitment from the acting PM to take Cabinet decision to save the two hospitals. “But they demanded a Cabinet meeting. How can one be held when the PM is abroad? This will not establish a good precedent. They have tried to obstruct the bill by raising the issue of the hospitals,” a CPN leader confided with Setopati.

NC leaders during the meeting demanded that the House be adjourned until January 28 as the Cabinet meeting can be held after PM Oli returns home on January 26.

“We are together on the issue of saving the hospitals in the name of Koirala duo,” CPN Chief Whip Dev Gurung told Setopati. “They did not agree to resume House after acting PM addressing the issue. They said they will allow operation of House only after PM Oli takes the decision following his return.”

Gurung urged NC to stop House obstruction to pass the bill that has completed all due procedures. “The issues raised by Dr Govinda KC from the streets show that the bill should be passed soon. But the attitude of NC shows it wants to delay the bill. They have played a dual role which is not appropriate,” Gurung opined.

CPN leaders have accused the main opposition of raising the issue of hospitals as they cannot directly oppose the bill. “They were not ready when Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara asked to enter the issue of bill,” Gurung pointed.

CPN is in a hurry to pass the bill immediately. A CPN leader confided with Setopati that PM Oli summoned the party lawmakers before leaving for Davos and instructed them to pass the bill before he returns home. “The minority cannot take the majority hostage,” a CPN lawmaker commented while coming out of the HoR hall on Monday.

NC has been demanding that the bill should be brought in accordance to the ordinance issued by the then Sher Bahadur Deuba government incorporating the demands of Dr KC. Speaking during the HoR meeting on Monday, deputy parliamentary party leader of NC Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar also demanded that the bill should be brought in accordance to the ordinance.

Speaker Mahara has called the next HoR meeting for three Tuesday afternoon despite NC lawmakers insisting that it be called on January 28.

NC is adamant on its stance about the hospitals and moving the bill forward in accordance to the agreement Oli government signed with Dr KC. “Both the issues have come together,” NC lawmaker Gagan Thapa said. “Speaker issued the notice to call the meeting tomorrow despite us asking that we should look for resolution once PM Oli returns or at least not call it tomorrow and try to seek a resolution in the next few days,” Thapa stated.

Thapa demanded the government must take decision on the hospitals and amend the bill. “We will not budge from our stance until the issues are resolved,” he added.

The HoR seems headed for confrontation on Tuesday if the ruling party insists to move the bill forward and the main opposition continues to obstruct the House on the issue of the hospitals and the bill.

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