Fri. Jun 21st, 2024
ani 20240526162255

Building pressure from all fronts, the Nepali Congress has launched a full-fledged protest from parliament to the roads, demanding an investigation into Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane.

This comes ahead of the Budget announcement for the upcoming fiscal year 2024-25 which is slated for Tuesday-May 28.
Congress has been demanding the formation of a parliamentary investigation committee to investigate the misappropriation of cooperative funds which also involves Home Minister Lamichhane.
On Sunday, hundreds of opposition cadres from the Kathmandu Valley hit the streets of Kathmandu demanding action against individuals involved in the embezzlement of cooperative funds.
“The biggest of all, those who wanted a parliamentary committee to investigate certain issues in the past are refraining from forming the committee now and are sheltering those alleged in the cooperative scams. So, the protest that we have started now would go further depending on the moves that are taken. They (the ruling alliance) in past wanted a parliamentary investigation committee on certain issues and now they’ve stood against its formation and they’re proceeding further with the proceedings in parliament by hook and crook. We now have started the protest both in parliament as well as the roads against the move (by ruling alliance),” Prabin Maharjan, one of the protesting cadres of Nepali Congress told ANI.
During the protest, leaders and cadres of the party marched from various locations inside Kathmandu with some travelling from Lalitpur and Bhaktapur as well as demanding action against those guilty of cooperative fraud.
Holding the flag of the Nepali Congress as well as its student and women wing, the cadres chanted slogans demanding the resignation of Home Minister Rabi Lamichhane. The protestors from the opposition party have vowed to continue the protest till Lamichhane steps down from his post and facilitates the investigation.
“We will continue the protest until and unless the Home Minister resigns we will continue with the protest in various forms,” Goma Baral, another protesting cadre told ANI.
Home Minister Lamichhane is accused of embezzling large funds from the cooperative when he was the managing director of Gorkha Media and other people have been also accused of their involvement in such misappropriations.
While the cadres were protesting on the streets of Kathmandu, lawmakers from the opposition were also protesting in the parliament by picketing the well of the House of Representatives.
The lawmakers in parliament have been obstructing the budget session of the parliament since the first day of the session that commenced on May 10. However, the opposition parties had allowed the President to table policies and programs of the government.
But their demands are unheard by the house speaker and the parliamentary procession has gone forward. Amidst the protest and absence of opposition in the process of acquiring a vote of confidence earlier this month, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal passed the motion from the parliament deploying marshals.
On Sunday (May 26), as well, house speaker Deb Raj Ghimire alleged of working on the directives of the ruling alliance moved forward with the schedule endorsing the government’s policies and programs amid obstruction from the Nepali Congress.
Marshals escorted Finance Minister Barshaman Pun to the rostrum of the parliament to table the Economic Survey of Fiscal Year 2023/24 ahead of the presentation of budget for the coming fiscal year on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal in Sunday’s meeting also proposed the lower house to initiate discussions on the policies and the programs for the fiscal year 2024-25 presented by President Ramchandra Paudel before the joint sitting of both houses of the Federal Parliament on May 14.
The House discussed the policies and programs for one hour amid protests from the Congress lawmakers. No agreement has been reached between the opposition and ruling alliance over the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the parliamentary committee.
Opposition and the ruling alliance are at loggerheads over naming the cooperatives which have duped billions of rupees from the public. Opposition Nepali Congress has been demanding to name the cooperatives and those involved in the embezzlement while the ruling alliance has stood against it.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dahal on Sunday addressed the house amid the protest
by opposition expressed his confidence in a political development to put an end to
the ongoing parliamentary obstructions by Monday, or tomorrow.
“I have been holding talks with the opposition leaders as well about ending the house
impasse; attempts to end it have continued. At the time we felt that we were
inching closer to an agreement and understanding over the issue. Earlier this (May 26) morning only, I held talks with Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and other leaders at the latter residence in an attempt to strike an agreement. By tomorrow
(27 May), the budget announcement day (May 28) I am confident that we will reach an agreement,” Dahal said while addressing the parliament amid the protest and sloganeering by opposition lawmakers.
It should be noted that Home Minister Lamichhane has been accused of fraud in a cooperative duping millions of rupees of savers conspirating with others. Lamichhane has been denying the allegation stating he was unaware of it but evidences of his involvement in the fraud have come forward with the investigation continuing over.
Lamichhane had earlier worked with GB Rai, one of the conspirators in the fraud of millions of rupees before he entered politics in the last election, who as of now has gone underground with police widening search for him.
An investigative report conducted by Pokhara Metropolis over the alleged fraud in the the cooperative has just been completed this week and submitted to the Police where hundreds of applications naming Lamichhane as one of the involved in fraud has
been filed.
Home Minister Lamichhane has been accused of misusing his authority to transfer top-positioned police personnel who have been investigating the case.
Along with this, he has been blamed for misuse of authority by coercing and forcing the Office of the Attorney General to give him a clean chit on the issue of cooperative fraud.-ANI

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