Kathmandu : The CPN-UML, which has been stalling House proceedings since September 8 when the new session of Parliament began, will continue to do so unless Speaker Agni Prasad Sapkota confirms the expulsion of 14 UML lawmakers, including Madhav Kumar Nepal who now heads the CPN (Unified Socialist).

UML Chief Whip Bishal Bhattarai said his party would continue to stall House proceedings unless the speaker confirmed expulsion of 14 lawmakers.

Bhattarai said the court, the Election Commission, or the Parliament had no ground to censure his party for taking action against the 14 lawmakers under the Political Party Act for defying party discipline. He said Sapkota aided a split in his party by sitting on his party’s expulsion notice for almost two weeks.

Asked why his party was not seeking a solution from the court where the expulsion of 14 lawmakers was sub judice, Bhattarai said his party wanted to stall House proceedings because the speaker discriminated against his party.

Nepali Congress Whip Pushpa Bhusal said it was not appropriate for the UML, which had filed a case at the Supreme Court seeking expulsion of 14 party lawmakers, to stall House proceedings.

Bhusal said the UML’s continued obstruction of House proceedings deprived lawmakers of the opportunity to discuss budgetary and other issues. She said the UML even boycotted the all-parliamentary party meeting called by Speaker Sapkota and Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba.

Democratic Socialist Party Nepal lawmaker Laxman Lal Karna said that the Parliament had failed to effectively perform its duty after the restoration of the House of Representatives and that underlined the need to seek a fresh mandate from the electorate. He said the government had not tabled any urgent agenda in the House, nor had the speaker discussed the issue in the Business Advisory Committee.

Sapkota’s Press Adviser Shreedhar Neupane said Sapkota had been holding informal meetings with political leaders and was committed to finding a negotiated settlement to the parliamentary stalemate.

He said the speaker had told the House, media, and political leaders that he had taken decisions as per prevailing laws and rules and had committed no mistake as far as the expulsion of 14 UML lawmakers was concerned. He has repeatedly told UML lawmakers that the constitution barred lawmakers from raising an issue which is sub judice.

The next meeting of the HoR has been scheduled for October 26.