RAM KUMAR KAMAT
KATHMANDU: The Nepali Congress and CPN-UML today felt the heat within their outfits as lawmakers pressed their respective parties to ensure identity based provinces in the new constitution.
UML lawmakers representing indigenous nationalities and Madhes opposed the ideas floated by the central leadership on some of the issues, particularly federalism, during the meeting of top leaders of major political forces.
According to UML lawmaker Gopal Thakur, party lawmakers representing indigenous nationalities and Madhes warned the leadership that they might not abide by party decisions if the party did not go for identity based federalism. UML leadership is a strong proponent of north-south division of Madhes province. UML's Madhesi lawmakers told party leadership that they object to north-south division of Madhes province. They reacted after UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal informed party lawmakers today that the party was going to agree on mixing Morang, Sunsari, Jhapa (in the eastern region), Chitwan (in the central region) and Kailali and Kanchanpur (in the far west) to non-Madhes region.
NC Spokesperson Arjun Nursingh KC said lawmakers representing Madhesi and indigenous natioalities pressed for identity based federalism, but there were other lawmakers who lobbied for carving out multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-ethnic provinces, as non of the regions are dominated by a single ethnic group. NC leaders Gagan Thapa and Narhari Acharya said it would be better to go for directly elected prime minister instead of directly elected President.