Chitra Bahadur KC and Prem Suwal: Only two faces of opposition in Nepal’s 274-member parliament

They were the only ones to raise some important issues in parliament on Tuesday while the rest of the MPs cast votes for the PM.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: With as many as 268 MPs voting in favor of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Tuesday, both the government as well as the federal parliament have become effectively opposition-less. 

In an unexpected and rare turn of political events, all other MPs from all other political parties represented in the House of Representatives voted in favor of Dahal. 

Two of the MPs, however, chose not to. As such they seem to be the only MPs the people can look up to raise the voice of the people and to expose the wrongdoings of the government.

In Tuesday’s House session Chitra Bahadur KC of Rastriya Janamorcha and Prem Suwal of Nepal Workers Peasants Party justified why they stood against giving a vote of confidence to Dahal, while also raising some relevant issues.

KC said the all-out support for the PM is driven by the political parties’ greed for power and desire to recover the money spent on campaign financing during the elections. “They seem to be guided by the thought that at any cost you have to be in power so as to recover the money spent in election,” octogenarian KC said, while many other MPs, including the PM, responded with a sneering laugh. “Are we sending the right message to the people? Is there no ethics in politics?” He asked. “People are not happy with the message of the political parties that they need to remain in power at any cost.” 

People have no hope from leaders, MPs and ministers, we must admit this sad fact.  “If we continue with such politics, if we continue to teach our cadres the politics without morality and ideology, we cannot save this country, forget federalism,” KC said.  “Some leaders may be happy with federalism because they are able to adjust their cadres in some posts but ask people who are bearing the brunt of this all,” said KC.  

On his part, Prem Suwal raised the issues of justice for rape victims and border encroachment on Limpiyadhura and Kalapani among others and called for ensuring infrastructure development and quality education for all in the country.  He also called for the formation of a parliamentary committee to investigate the cases of violation of election code of conduct.

With Nepali Congress, the largest force in the parliament along with other political parties, giving a vote of confidence to PM Dahal, the fear among many in Nepal is that there will be no political party and political leaders in parliament to raise the vital public concerns and hold the government accountable.