Opposition to use budget session to grill government over controversial ordinancesLawmakers will also seek answers on the handling of the Covid-19 crisis, leaders say.
Opposition parties are preparing to take the budget session of the federal parliament, which begins on Friday, as an opportunity to grill the government over the two controversial ordinances it recently prepared and later withdrew, and its handling of the Covid-19 outbreak.
The president, upon the recommendation of the KP Sharma Oli government, issued the two ordinances amending existing legal provisions related to the Constitutional Council and the registration of political parties on April 20. The Oli government has been accused of preparing the ordinance related to political parties in its bid to divide fringe parties.
“We will raise our voice against the government’s arbitrary decisions, in Parliament. It should take a strong position on this,” Rajendra Shrestha, a senior leader of the newly formed Janata Samajbadi party, told the Post referring to the government’s move to introduce the ordinances only to withdraw them later.
The government will present its policies and programme for the new fiscal year during the session of Parliament.
Opposition leaders said they will also raise the issue of the alleged abduction of a lawmaker at the behest of leaders of the ruling party along with the government's failure to deal with the Covid-19 crisis.
The Janata Samajbadi Party alleges that ruling party lawmakers Mahesh Basnet and Kisan Shrestha, along with former chief of Nepal Police Sarbendra Khanal abducted then Samabadi Party Nepal leader Surendra Yadav, under orders from Oli.
However, the Metropolitan Police Range, Teku, denied filing a complaint over the case saying the Janata Samajbadi Party Nepal leaders should go to Mahottari if they wish to lodge a complaint against the ruling party lawmakers as the alleged incident took place in Janakpur. They later filed a complaint at the National Human Rights Commission.
Meanwhile, Bal Krishna Khand, Nepali Congress chief whip, said the government has failed completely in managing the Covid-19 pandemic and providing relief and support to the poor sections of the society. His party’s lawmakers will raise issues related to the outbreak, he said.
“The Oli government has remained a mere spectator while thousands of people walked hundreds of kilometers barefoot and hungry to their hometown, as it was busy playing foul games to split other’s parties,” he told the Post.
He said the steps the government took to combat the pandemic lack transparency. The decision to sign a deal with Omni Business Corporate International to procure medical kits and protective gear received criticism for alleged irregularities.
The Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament and Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority are investigating the case. “Our party will demand clear answers from the government on the issues,” he said.
Parliament is prepared to host the new session taking place in the midst of a pandemic. A team of doctors from the Department of Health Services visited the federal parliament building and suggested measures to reduce the possible risk of spread of the disease. Every lawmakers will go through temperature checks, put on proper masks and use sanitisers before entering the halls.
According to officials at the parliament secretariat, top leaders from major parties will address lawmakers on the first day of the new session. The pre-budget discussion will start on Sunday. President Bidya Devi Bhandari is to unveil the government’s policies and programme once the pre-budget discussion is over.