CPN-UML has demanded action against Nepali Congress (NC) provincial lawmaker from Bagmati Narottam Baidya pointing his statement is a criminal offense.
Speaking in the provincial assembly on Friday, Baidya had implied that UML Chairman and Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli should be killed. "Khadga Prasad Oli will gobble up this country if he is not stopped. I, therefore, urge someone must be ready to become Nathuram Godse now to save the country. I will become Nathuram if anyone is not ready," Baidya stated.
Godse had shot Mahatma Gandhi dead in 1948.
Issuing a statement Saturday morning, the ruling party has said it has taken the statement seriously. "His statement inciting others to murder the PM and pointing he himself is ready for murder if needed is criminal, highly objectionable and condemnable," the statement issued by UML Spokesperson Pradeep Gyawali states.
"Our party deems that the issue attracts the country's criminal laws and also seriously draws the attention of the party concerned."
As reprehensible as Baidya's statement is, the Constitution provides absolute immunity to his expression in the provincial assembly. "There shall be full freedom of speech, pursuant to this Constitution, in the Provincial Assembly and no member shall be arrested or detained or prosecuted in any court for anything expressed or for any vote cast in that meeting," Article 187(1) of the Constitution states.
NC has already condemned Baidya's statement. Issuing a statement on Saturday, the party has asked Baidya to take back his words and self-criticize. The statement issued by NC Spokesperson Bishwa Prakash Sharma also asks Baidya to honor the instruction given through the provincial parliamentary party leadership Friday night and reprimands him to exercise restraint and alertness in expression.
Sharma had tweeted on the issue Friday night itself. Pointing that the main opposition party does not have a tradition of defending objectionable words through arguments, he stressed that freedom of expression does not mean anarchy in expression.
NC leader Gagan Thapa also took to Twitter Saturday morning and said Baidya's statement is not acceptable to anyone and pointed that there is no place for violence even in criticism in the party that believes in non-violent politics.