Speaker of the House of Representatives (HoR) Krishna Bahadur Mahara has assured that the Medical Education Bill will be presented to the House from the rostrum.
Speaking with media-persons a day after CPN lawmaker Yogesh Bhattarai warned that the bill will be presented by Minister for Education, Science and Technology Giriraj Mani Pokharel from his chair if the main opposition party Nepali Congress (NC) obstructs him from going to the rostrum even on Friday, Speaker Mahara assured that the bill will be decided in accordance to parliamentary procedure. “The Medical Education Bill should be concluded as per due procedure,” Mahara opined. “What happens can be known only tomorrow.”
The House was adjourned until Friday after NC lawmakers stopped Minister Pokharel from going to the rostrum to present the bill on Tuesday accusing the government of trying to dissolve hospitals opened in the name of former prime ministers (PM) Girija Prasad Koirala and Sushil Koirala.
“This is for the government to think. The bill must come after satisfying the opposition. I am hopeful about that,” Mahara stated when asked why the bill is being presented in a hurry without addressing the demands of Dr Govinda KC who has started the 16th fast-unto-death for reform in the medical education sector.
Pointing that the bill has already entered the House process, he opined that it would be appropriate to pass the bill. “The issues of the two hospitals and the bill are different. The issue of hospitals is related to the government,” he stated.
He revealed that he is holding discussions with both the government and the main opposition about concluding the bill but to no avail, and reminded NC with a long parliamentary experience should not forget parliamentary decorum.
Mahara also defended how he operated the House on Tuesday. NC lawmakers had protested that the marshals stopped them far away from the well of the House on Tuesday and Gagan Thapa demanded an apology from Speaker Mahara on that.
“Efforts were made to forcibly operate the House when the opposition lawmakers were standing up. Why did the Speaker participate as a party candidate in the government ploy to forcibly pass the bill?” Thapa had questioned after the House proceedings on Tuesday and demanded Mahara’s apology.
“I have not listened to what they said. I want everyone to practice parliamentary exercise with dignity,” he stated when asked for comments on Thapa’s demand for apology. “There is no reason for me to apologize.”