Oli’s ‘unparliamentary’ remarks removed from the House record following Speaker’s directiveFollowing the demand from Nepali Congress lawmakers, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara directed officials from the Parliament Secretariat to remove the words used by Oli while answering the queries related to the government’s policies and programmes.
Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s remarks in the House of Representatives on Monday have been removed from the records of federal parliament after it was deemed “unparliamentary” by the Speaker.
Following the demand from Nepali Congress lawmakers, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara directed officials from the Parliament Secretariat to remove the words used by Oli while answering the queries related to the government’s policies and programmes.
“I direct the House secretariat to delete the unparliamentary words used by Prime Minister Oli and lawmakers during the discussion on government’s policies and programmes,” Mahara said at the beginning of the Lower House meeting on Friday. Members of the main opposition, which had taken serious exception to the remarks by Oli, allowed the House meeting to function following the ruling from the Speaker.
On Monday, Oli had begun answering questions from opposition lawmakers saying: “I will leave aside some trivial comments emanating from anger and complexes and rather address other concerns.”
Congress party lawmakers had objected that their queries were termed as “trivial” and demanded that the term be removed from the records. Though lawmakers from the main opposition stood from their seats, Mahara didn’t order the removal of the comments from the records on the day.
Oli, stepping up to the rostrum, was even involved in an exchange of words with the opposition lawmakers, which was a rare scene in Parliament. The policy document was endorsed even as the Congress lawmakers refused to sit. Parliament is considered obstructed and its proceedings are stopped even if a single lawmaker stands from his or her seat. Mahara, however, pushed the policies and programmes amid the chaos because it had to be endorsed ahead of Oli’s foreign trip due to begin in two days.
Congress lawmakers had accused the Speaker of failing to maintain the dignity and neutrality of the position by working at the behest of the ruling party, which he is a member of.
Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba on Tuesday called Mahara the “most feeble and coward Speaker” in the parliamentary history of Nepal. His party had threatened to obstruct pre-budget discussion in Parliament from Friday if the Speaker didn’t remove Oli’s remarks.
“On behalf of the party, I had conveyed a message to the Speaker that we won’t let the House function if our concern was not addressed,” Bal Krishna Khand, the NC chief whip, told the Post.
The pre-budget discussion started after Finance Minister Yubaraj Khatiwada presented the principles of the national budget. The budget for the upcoming fiscal year will be presented on May 29.
Political commentators say it was a sad affair when the country’s chief executive failed to maintain the decorum of Parliament. Hari Roka, a political analyst, said that Oli should understand that he has a duty to set an example and have the patience to listen to criticism.
“Prime Minister Oli has failed in that regard,” he told the Post.
But Roka said the opposition had also completely failed to raise genuine issues in the House while running after non-issues. “The comments from the opposition were equally derogatory,” he said.