Bill unlikely to be passed ‘any time soon’

Kathmandu, July 11

The ruling alliance today told the agitating Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal that it would not be able to get the constitution amendment bill passed in the Legislature-Parliament any time soon.

After holding an ‘inconclusive’ meeting with the CPN-UML, top brass of the ruling Nepali Congress and the CPN-Maoist Centre invited RJP-N leaders at the prime minister’s residence. The meeting with RJP-N lasted nearly two hours, with leaders discussing the constitution amendment bill and the third phase of local polls slated for September 18 in Province 2.

According to CPN-MC’s senior leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who was also present in the meeting, RJP-N leaders were informed that the government would address the demands of RJP-N but it was unlikely that the amendment bill would be passed in the House, as it didn’t appear to have the backing of two-third lawmakers.

“Ruling party leaders, however, said efforts to amend the constitution would continue,” he added. The ruling coalition also sought RJP-N’s commitment to take part in the third phase of local level elections.

Anil Jha, a member of RJP-N’s presidium, told THT that the ruling parties were told that they were not against the election, but a conducive environment was a must for its participation.

The meeting also agreed to declare those killed in Madhes movement as martyrs. Narayan Kaji Shrestha told THT that the government agreed to release those arrested during Madhes movement. “The government also agreed to fulfil RJP-N’s demand regarding compensation to the kin of those killed and treatment for wounded agitators,” he added.

“We did not put forth any new demand. We just discussed those demands that the government had promised it would fulfil in the past,” Sharat Singh Bhandari, another member of RJP-N’s presidium told mediapersons after the meeting. RJP-N leaders also sought a concrete view of the ruling parties on adding local levels in Tarai districts.