Thu, 08 Jun 2023

Kathmandu [Nepal], May 26 (ANI): Nepal's main opposition- the Communist Party of Nepal- Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) on Friday obstructed the House proceedings over allegations of corruption against former prime minister KP Oli during the installation of Golden Jalhari at Pashupatinath Temple.

The meeting of the House of Representatives (HoR) was obstructed by the opposition over an allegation of corruption against the then Prime Minister and party chair- KP Sharma Oli. The Oli-led government had decided to install a new "Jalahari", the base of Shiva Linga inside the Pashupatinath Temple in the year 2021.

The issue of corruption was raised lately by Lekh Nath Dahal, elected Member of Parliament from the CPN-Maoist Center. Dahal at a meeting on Wednesday had claimed that the Oli-led government had installed brass instead of golden Jalahari in the temple. Two days after the statement made by the MP from the ruling alliance, the opposition on Friday objected to the issue and demanded the statement to be removed from the record of the Parliament.

Subash Chandra Nembwang, Vice Chair, CPN-UML, said, "Member of Parliament from the ruling coalition standing in the rostrum of Parliament accused the main opposition. At first, I didn't believe it and I went over the statement thrice, where he said 'in the name of golden Jalahari in Pashupatinath, brass Jalahari has been installed which is corruption.' This serious allegation against my party, my side (opposition), against the leader of chief opposition has been made."Subash Chandra Nembwang made the remarks after the House speaker granted him time to speak amid the obstruction.

He further said, "This serious issue should be cleared out. We want the truth to be presented forward in black-and-white. If it isn't golden Jalahari then upon being proven should be punished accordingly, if it is the golden Jalahari then can these sorts of irresponsible statements be made in the Parliament; these sorts of serious issues be alleged or not? Shouldn't it be cleared of doubt for once and all?"Picketing the well of parliament, MPs from CPN-UML shouted slogans and demanded an apology from Dahal for his remarks and demanded that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal should inform Parliament about the issue. They demanded that Dahal should either apologize for his remarks or the Jalahari should be tested to determine whether it is made of gold or not.

The then Oli government had installed a Jalahari with 96 kilograms of gold at the temple on February 24, 2021, even as the Supreme Court (SC) had already been moved to prevent that. The government had said 12 kilograms of gold would be added later.

The Nepal SC had issued an interim order on the day the Jalahari was installed to stop the work pointing out that nothing can be added or removed from archaeological heritage. The Office of the Auditor General's (OAG) 59th annual report also raised questions over Jalahari.

The report had not raised questions about the structure with 96.822 kilograms of gold. However, it pointed out that details have not been submitted to prove that the said 10.976 kilograms of gold was used in the ring put around the Jalahari.

The parliament was adjourned for 20 minutes in less than one hour of the formal start of meeting at 11 am (local time). MP's from various parties waited for about 6 hours expecting the meeting would resume. However, the parliament meeting has been called for 4 pm on Saturday. (ANI)

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