CA meet continues despite RPP-N obstruction

KATHMANDU: Chairman of the Constituent Assembly Subas Chandra Nembang on Friday moved ahead the discussion on the draft of the constitution despite continuous obstruction by the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, whose CA members chanted slogans for several hours.

RPP-N obstructed the CA meeting claiming that the draft constitution was presented in the CA violating the provisions endorsed by the Constitution Drafting Committee. CA members of the RPP-N started obstructing the meeting as soon as CA Chairman Nembang allowed Unified CPN-Maoist Chief Whip Girirajmani Pokharel to speak on the proposed first draft of constitution. Earlier Chairman of RPP-N Kamal Thapa objected to the activities of the CA, claiming that they were against the existing laws and constitution and that a few parties had made CA their ‘rubber stamp’. Drawing the attention of the CA chairman, Thapa alleged that a few leaders had made changes in the draft and removed the provision of electing President, vice-president and speaker and conducting local election within six months of promulgating the constitution.

Claiming that the draft was presented violating the agreement made at the CDC, he demanded to halt the ongoing meeting of the CA. Some four hours of sloganeering followed, after which Nembang again asked Pokharel to speak.

Pokharel said RPP-N’s obstruction was against the CA procedure. “We also have differing views but we have been involved in the constitution drafting process to conclude the journey that began with 12-point agreement,” he said.

NC’s Dhanraj Gurung said the constitution could be amended later but had to be drafted first. He said minor obstructions from regressive forces should be ignored to ensure the constitution that Nepali people had been waiting for the last 70 years.

UML’s Bhanubhakta Dhakal said the accusation of the RPP-N that changes were made in the draft was false. “We have both the copies and there are no changes,” he said, adding that the obstruction was just a ploy to prolong the constitution drafting process. MJF-Democratic leader Jitendra Dev said, “Drafting constitution with borders of states will bring all the Madhes-based parties to the CA, besides respecting the verdict of the apex court,” he said, adding that all the pro-federalism forces should unite. The next meeting of the CA has been scheduled for 11:00am tomorrow.

Members involved in vandalism

KATHMANDU: A few CA members of the RPP-N were involved in incidents of vandalism inside the CA Hall. They plucked microphones and damaged some chairs, including the one where Prime Minister Sushil Koirala sits. Following the CA meeting RPP-N CA members challenged the CA chairman to take action against them.

RPP-N Chairman Kamal Thapa said the CA chairman did nothing when there was massive damage inside the CA in January. Commenting on the actions of RPP-Nepal CA members, Chairman of Constitution Drafting Committee Krishna Prasad Sitaula said Kamal Thapa should have thanked four major parties for including their agenda. He said he was surprised that RPP-N was protesting even after CA unanimously decided to make conversion of religion punishable.

He said the proportional representation system, which enabled RPP-N to enter the CA, was brought about by the progressive forces — NC, UML and UCPN-M — and RPP-N should have thanked these parties.-HNS