The main opposition CPN-UML, that has been boycotting the House of Representatives (HoR) meeting, has not attended even the meetings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the parliament lately.
UML lawmakers did not attend the PAC's meetings held on Janaury 4 and 9 held to discuss the problems of sugarcane farmers and latest financial state of the country respectively, according to PAC Secretary Roj Nath Pandey.
UML has been demanding that it should get to lead the committee in capacity of an opposition party while Nepali Congress (NC) is adamant that it will not give up the leadership of the committee pointing that it is the only committee that the party is leading.
"The party has not provided any information about boycotting the committee's meeting. But none of the party's lawmakers has signed the attendance in the last two meetings," Pandey stated.
A lawmaker told Setopati that UML lawmaker from Gulmi Maina Kumari Bhandari had arrived to attend the meeting on January 4 but went out after someone called on her cellphone.
UML Chief Whip Bishal Bhattarai accused the ruling coalition of holding the meeting at a time when UML lawmakers are busy in the party's district convention to ensure that they cannot attend the meetings. "We don't boycott parliamentary committee. The meetings have been held even after we informed about district convention," Bhattarai said.
Surya Pathak, Raghubir Mahaseth, Bhattarai, Bhandari, Rajendra Gautam and Gokul Baskota represent UML in the PAC.
The PAC still has members picked at a time when UML and CPN (Maoist Center) were unified as CPN while UML has split further with the then Khanal-Nepal faction forming CPN (Unified Socialist).
UML is demanding that it should get more members proportional to its strength in the House and get to lead the committee in capacity of the main opposition party.
The Federal Parliament Secretariat is preparing to allot representation in parliamentary committees on the basis of the strength of the parties in the House. UML will get 10 members, NC seven, Maoist Center five, Unified Socialist and Janata Samajwadi Party two each, and Loktantrik Samajwadi Party one in the PAC if that were to happen.