RAM K KAMAT/ TIKA R PRADHAN
KATHMANDU: Madhesi lawmakers representing several political parties, including the UCPN-M, today disrupted the first parliamentary session called by the President, swarming to the well of the House as Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang resumed the proceedings after its half-an-hour adjournment.
Earlier, the Speaker had read out two letters received from President Dr Ram Baran Yadav calling the House session and Cabinet reshuffle. MJF-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav, UCPN-M lawmaker Prabhu Sah and Dalit Janajati Party chief Biswendra Paswan gheraoed the well blocking an amendment bill being tabled to amend Article 70 of the Interim Constitution. The 12th amendment of the Interim Constitution is being made to cut short the constitution endorsement process. More than 35 Madhesi lawmakers representing mainly UDMF and Broader Madhesi Front obstructed the proceedings, as a result of which a motion to amend Article 70 of the Interim Constitution could not be tabled in the House.
The CA has to adopt new constitution within the next 11 days and it requires an amendment of the Interim Constitution.
Madhesi lawmakers sloganeered in the Parliament urging CA members to promulgate a new constitution within the set deadline of May 27 without dividing the Tarai-Madhes into five federal units.
They also demanded an autonomous Madhes Pradesh with right to self-determination.
Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang said new constitution could not be adopted on time without making amendment to the Interim Constitution. As the Madhesi lawmakers continued to block the well despite his repeated pleas to take their seats, the Speaker adjourned the House proceedings till 3 pm tomorrow. Nembang said it was not appropriate for the lawmakers to raise constitutional issues during the meeting of the Legislature-Parliament.
He drew attention of the political leadership towards resolving the issues raised by the Madhesi lawmakers, who were protesting an agreement between the three major parties to carve out 11 federal units on Tuesday.