HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: CPN-UML Chairman Jhala Nath Khanal today strongly warned of ‘disciplinary action’ against his party’s Constituent Assembly members if they voted against the party line on issues of federalism in the CA full House.
Khanal said so while addressing a parliamentary party meeting held on the CA premises.
Khanal’s warning today came after six UML CA members — Prithvi Subba Gurung, Kiran Gurung, Pasang Sherpa, Dal Bahadur Rana Magar, Randhwoj Limbu and Bhagawoti Chaudhary — joined hands yesterday with Unified CPN-Maoist and United Democratic Madhesi Front that have been insisting on carving out federal units on a single identity of a dominant community.
As many as 35 CA members, including the ones from NC and UML, issued a joint statement calling for carving out federal units based on the identity of a single dominant community, an idea strongly opposed by NC and UML. NC and UML have been saying that the parties must agree on ‘common identities’ to name the federal units or, if that is not possible right now, it should be left to the Pradesh Sabha to decide.
Khanal said in the event of voting on issues of federalism, the party should vote in favour of six pradeshes, proposed by minority members of the CA thematic committee on State Restructuring and Distribution of State Power. A majority member of the committee has, however, proposed 14 federal units on the basis of identity and economic capability.
Khanal is learnt to have told the UML PP meeting that it was ‘highly objectionable’ and it was an ‘act amounting to height of political anarchy’ to join hands with the rival parties with which the UML had ideological differences.
Kiran Gurung, one of the UML CA members joining hands with Maoists and UDMF on federalism issues, is learnt to have protested Khanal’s assertion, saying the party could not issue any whip going against the sentiments of the ethnic communities.
Gurung even warned of violating the party whip if their sentiments were not addressed by the party leadership.
UML senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal said they were still trying to avoid voting process, as they were looking for a compromise among the parties on numbers and boundaries of the federal units.