Lawmaker Bidya Bhattarai/File Photo
KATHMANDU: Bidhya Bhattarai’s entry into the federal parliament was unplanned.
She had probably never thought of venturing into direct politics by quitting her career as a Triubhunvan University (TU) teacher.
However, life had different plans for her, and her journey as a Member of the House of Representatives (HoR) was spurred by special circumstances.
Until the demise of her spouse and the then Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation, Rabindra Adhikari, the mother of two children was teaching at the Ratna Rajya Campus, TU.
On February 27, 2019, the then Minister Adhikari was killed in a chopper crash in Taplejung.
He, 49 at the time, was the CPN (UML) lawmaker in the HoR representing the Kaski Constituency-2.
The party nominated her as the party candidate for the by-election from the constituency.
She secured a resounding victory in the election, with a significant margin of around 8,000 votes against her closest competitor.
She also went on to win the subsequent HoR election from the same constituency.
Bhattarai is personally confident that she is giving her best as the HoR member for the operation of House business.
She believes that the primary role of the House is legislative. However, her assessment is that vital aspects such effectiveness, promptness and systmatisation are of late missing in the parliamentary proceedings.
While taking to RSS, the lawmaker said the government’s role is vital in making the House business effective as it is an authorized body to allocate business to the parliament.
“The constant game of forming and toppling the government has affected the parliamentary proceedings.”
When asked about the implications of prolonged obstructions by the opposition in the House, she counter-questioned the government’s response to the oppositions’ voices and its approach towards them.
Bhattarai stressed that the government’s leadership plays a significant role in shaping the political culture and seeking consensus on political issues through dialogues.
In response to a query whether the lawmakers have sidelined the legislative roles over the development agenda, the lawmaker said it has been a customary practice and understanding that lawmakers are for facilitating development needs and agenda of the people.
“This belief will not change overnight. People should also be aware of specific functions of the executive and legislature. It is also the duty of of lawmakers to make people aware of the distinct affairs of the executive and the legislative,” she said.
Bhattarai who serves as the member on the Education, Health and Information Technology Committee, House of Representatives said the School Education Bill-2080 BS introduced by the government should be capable of initiating discourses for reform and transformations in education.
She also added that the government should own up the responsibility for agreement reached with the Nepal Teachers’ Federation regarding the Bill. “The House is not supposed to take up its responsibility,” she added.