By Our Reporter
The House of Representatives and the National Assembly, as suspected by many, endorsed the National Medical Education Bill amidst protests from the main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, in the Parliament and Dr. Govinda KC at Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital where he has been staging fast-unto-death for three weeks.
The Nepali Congress tried its best to prevent the passage of the Bill, a few provisions of which were in favour of the hospitals operated by CPN leaders and controversial person like Durga Prasain.
NC even boycotted the voting process conducted for its endorsement in the Lower House.
The endorsement of the bill has brought a division between the ruling CPN and NC, which may create obstruction in preparing necessary laws.
Moreover, Speaker Krishna Bahadur Mahara was dragged into controversy for acting like a CPN leader and deceiving the main Opposition party as he put the Bill for endorsement although he had told the NC leaders that he would not invite any confrontation between the ruling and the opposition parties.
The NC had now demanded apology from Speaker Mahara, otherwise warned of obstructing the House, which is likely to cause delay in drafting and endorsing laws, which are a must for the functioning of the federal units.
Earlier, the government had failed twice to table the Bill in the Lower House owing to the fierce protest from the main opposition party.
Constitutionally, the move of Speaker Mahara was against the practice as he continued the House proceeding despite opposition party obstructed the House proceeding.
Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel had tabled the Bill after he was taken to the rostrum by the marshals.
Within a minute after the bill was passed, Speaker Mahara announced the adjournment of the Parliament meeting for January 31.
Following the endorsement of the Bill, main opposition leader Sher Bahadur Deuba questioned the role of Speaker Mahara, saying that he did not play a fair role while passing the Bill.
The NC wanted to discuss the Bill again once Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli returns home from Switzerland, but the ruling party did not wait for the PM’s return.
Now NC had announced protest against the government while Dr Govinda KC has been giving continuity to his fast-unto-death, and the civil society and people have backed Dr. KC. However, the government has hinted that it would not respond to KC this time.
But the move is surely likely to be costly for the government, because the when the doctors in hospitals stop working, NC continues to obstruct the House, and students and other parties take to the street, the government will have no option but to meet Dr. KC’s demand. Moreover, the western power, which has challenged the government over its indifference to transitional justice will be backing KC, making the situation further complicated.
As such, the government needs to focus on policies rather than trying to please a few individuals like Durga Prasai and Rajendra Pandey. A government which has called it socialist should not have worked in favour of the rich people who have amassed property illegally, irritating the people and academicians.
Although the ministers and CPN leaders have termed Dr KC’s strike irrelevant, they will be losing more by acting against the saint like man, it is evident from the fate KC’s critics faced in the past.