Law Minister responds to lawmakers' concerns over Constitution amendment

KATHMANDU: Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Agni Prasad Kharel on Monday responded to lawmakers' concerns over the Bill on First Amendment of Constitution of Nepal.

At a meeting of the Parliament today, Minister Kharel justified the need of the amendment proposal claiming that the new Constitution needed an amendment to address recent political problems of the nation.

Kharel informed that the Bill was brought for the discussion as top leaders of major three political parties before promulgation of the Constitution had committed to amend the charter at the earliest to address concerns of agitating parties including the United Democratic Madhesi Front.

He added that the Bill itself addressed concerns raised by the lawmakers. The Minister, hence, requested them to endorse the Bill.

He said the Amendment Bill was not brought under the influence of any external force.

The House had concluded general discussions over the Bill on Sunday. As many as 58 lawmakers had aired their views on the Bill.

The discussions were held amid sloganeering from the United Democratic Madhesi Front lawmakers, who have been stating that the Bill was insufficient to address their concerns and are demanding that their concerns, including the issue of boundaries of federal units, be incorporated in the Bill.

During the discussions, most of the speakers from the Nepali Congress, the Unified CPN-Maoist and other fringe parties suggested that the Bill should be improved by incorporating the concerns of agitating parties, while CPN-UML lawmakers said only minor changes should be made to address the concerns of the disgruntled parties.

Some fringe parties, including Rastriya Janamorcha and Nepal Workers’ and Peasants’ Party, called for withdrawal of the Bill.

Prem Suwal of NWPP alleged that the Bill was introduced in the interest of foreign forces. Durga Paudel of Rastriya Janamorcha said the Bill should not be passed, as it undermined a large section of people of the country.

Meeting adjourned till Tuesday

Meanwhile, the House meeting has been adjourned till 1 pm on Tuesday.

Before this, the meeting endorsed the Vaccination Bill.

The House also forwarded two bills tabled by the Minister of State for Finance Damodar Bhandari, and the Education Act Amendment Bill tabled by Kharel to the concerned House committees.