NHUCHHE MAN DONGOL
Since the caucus of women parliamentarians in the Constituent Assembly is not registered with any government office, its legitimacy has been called into question. However this has not stopped the CA secretariat from providing generous facilities to the caucus such as an office space and six government staff.
"It is irresponsible to give legal status to an agency that has not been registered anywhere or mentioned in the law. We are not sure on what grounds these facilities were offered to the caucus, but such use of the secretariat's resources is an outright abuse of power," said an official from the secretariat. He added that even though the CA is a sovereign entity, if there are irregularities going on within the parliament the anti-graft body CIAA can investigate.
The caucus has spent more than Rs 10 million from the state coffer till date and there is no record of the money that has poured in from foreign donors in the name of constitution building and women empowerment. However, female lawmakers like ex-caucus member, Uma Regmi claim that male CA members are preventing the group from gaining legal status.
Chairman of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, Narayan Man Bijukche says that allowing the women's caucus inside the parliament infringes upon the sovereignty of the CA and takes women away from the purview of their parent party. Questioning the objectivity of the caucus, Bijukche's party has already called back its CA member, Lila Nyaichai.