The government has taken initiative to mend relation with the main opposition CPN-UML.
Law Minister Gyanendra Karki met UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli at the latter's residence in Balkot Tuesday evening and discussed issues ranging from House session to budget and the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), according to Karki.
This is the first time any minister has met Oli since he was ousted as prime minister (PM). Karki met deputy parliamentary party leader of UML Subash Chandra Nembang in the afternoon before meeting Oli.
"We talked about making the House effective by making democracy stronger," Karki told Setopati about the meeting. "We discussed all the issues," he responded when asked if they talked about budget and MCC.
The MCC has been stuck at the House for a long time due to the differences on the issue in the then ruling CPN. Similarly, the budget brought by the Oli government faces abrogation if the government does not pass it by bringing a replacement bill by September 15. The government is now preparing about new budget.
Karki revealed that the discussion mainly focused on making the House effective. "All issues cannot be resolved through one meeting. Discussion has been held on all the issues. Oli's main concern is about making the House effective."
Nembang confirmed that any minister from the Sher Bahadur Deuba government has met an opposition leader for the first time and claimed that UML treated the opposition as an important organ of the state and moved forward forging understanding. "The main opposition is the main competitor but that the government should forge an understanding with the opposition is an established tenet," he stated. "We have held all-party meetings when we were in the government. PM would repeatedly meet Deuba then. We have reminded that now."
He pointed that the current coalition government has not maintained relation with the opposition. UML is unhappy also with comments of some of the leaders of ruling coalition in recent times and UML has accused Nepali Congress (NC) of supporting that.
"We have said we will fulfill the role of responsible opposition. You all obstructed the House without even allowing us to table the ordinances brought by the government. But we did not obstruct the first meeting. We said that we will present in a responsible manner."
He revealed that he advised Karki to move forward by maintaining the relation between the ruling and opposition parties. "The government perhaps concluded that relation should be maintained even with the opposition or what happened. The government's law minister has started to say hello to the opposition."