Madhesi parties burn copies of draft constitution
KATHMANDU: A day after the first draft of the constitution was tabled in the Constituent Assembly, four constituents of the United Democratic Madhesi Front — Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal, Sadbhawana Party and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal — burnt the copies of the draft constitution in Babarmahal on Wednesday.
Addressing a corner meeting, TMDP Vice Chairman Brikhesh Chandra Lal said the first draft of constitution did not settle the federalism issues and its provision on citizenship was discriminatory which UDMF would not accept.
He said the draft also violated Supreme Court’s recent interim order. The Supreme Court had issued an interim order on June 19 saying that the constitution drafting should not violate Articles 1, 82 and 138 of the Interim Constitution. The SC said that since the Constituent Assembly would cease to exist after the promulgation of the constitution as per Article 82, the apex body must settle federalism question before it ceases to exist as stated in Article 138 of the Interim Constitution.
Co-chair of FSP-N Rajendra Shrestha said the Unified CPN-Maoist and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic, which advocated for the rights of Madhesis, Janajatis and other marginalised sections of the society, had surrendered to anti-identity forces — the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML.
He said the Supreme Court justice who issued the interim order deserved people’s respect for defending people’s rights.
SP Co-chair Laxman Lal Karna said the draft of the new constitution was against the spirit of the Interim Constitution, past agreements, recent interim order of the Supreme Court and aspirations of Madhesis, indigenous nationalities and marginalised communities, and therefore, such a constitution would not be acceptable to these communities.
He said that his party would abandon the CA if the concerns of marginalised communities were not addressed.
Senior TMSP-N leader Ram Naresh Ray said although Bijay Kumar Gachhadar-led MJF-D betrayed the cause of Madhesis and indigenous nationalities, Madhesis had not lost their hope.
He said that a constitution sans federalism could not be a people’s constitution. Ray said if the major parties fail to address Madhesis’ demands, Madhesi forces would take to the streets.
• The draft constitution has failed to address the most important issue of federalism
• Its provision on citizenship is discriminatory
• The draft constitution violates Supreme Court’s recent interim order