Janata Party refuses to back Nepali Congress on obstructing House of RepresentativesSamajbadi Party says it agrees with Congress that opposition forces should join hands for common agendas but by letting the House function.
The Rastriya Janata Party Nepal has rejected a proposal from the principal opposition party Nepali Congress to jointly obstruct proceedings of the House of Representatives.
The Janata Party recently forged an electoral alliance with the ruling Nepal Communist Party for the National Assembly polls—securing two seats in the Upper House.
“As two of the three demands raised by the Nepali Congress have already been addressed, we have told them not to obstruct the House, but raise the issues by seeking time [to speak in Parliament],” said Laxman Lal Karna, chief whip of the Janata Party.
The Janata Party, which withdrew its support to the Oli government in March last year, has of late moved closer to the ruling Nepal Communist Party, particularly since the electoral alliance.
The Nepali Congress, which now plans to form a strong opposition force to hold the Oli government to account, is reaching out to the Janata Party and the Samajbadi Party Nepal, which quit the Oli government in December last year.
Nepali Congress lawmakers, including whip Pushpa Bhusal, Gyanendra Bahadur Karki and Atahar Kamal Musalman on Monday visited the Janata Party’s parliamentary party office, along with Samajbadi Party’s Chief Whip Uma Shankar Argariya.
But there were no positive signs from the Janata Party to join hands with the Nepali Congress to obstruct House proceedings.
The Nepali Congress has been obstructing the House demanding action against former Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota, his resignation and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s clarification before the House of Representatives. Baskota resigned as minister on Thursday after he was heard negotiating a Rs 700 million “commission” in a security printing press deal in a leaked recording.
“Today we discussed with leaders of two Madhes-based parties. We have agreed to fight for our common agendas together in Parliament,” Bhusal, told the Post.
Though the Samajbadi Party has heeded the Congress’ call to fight together on common agendas, it does not seem to be keen on obstructing House proceedings.
“We convinced the Nepali Congress not to obstruct the House. We should raise our concerns together,” Argariya, chief whip of the Samajbadi Party, told the Post. “If the Speaker allows lawmakers time to speak, all three opposition parties will let the House run smoothly,” he added.