Major parties call top level talks with UDMF
Kathmandu, January 20
A meeting of four ruling parties — CPN-UML, Unified CPN-Maoist, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal — and the main opposition Nepali Congress today decided to hold talks at the level of top leadership with the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front tomorrow morning.
The meeting held at the residence of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli decided to continue talks with UDMF but pass the Bill on First Amendment of Constitution of Nepal with maximum support parties by Saturday even if consensus could not be forged by then, said NC Vice President Ramchandra Paudel after the meeting.
According to UCPN-M Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha, today’s meeting also decided to try and incorporate the concerns of the agitating Madhesi, indigenous and backward people in the amendment bill through amendment proposals and continuing talks with UDMF even if the bill is endorsed by the Parliament without the UDMF’s consent.
The task force of the major parties will do homework to incorporate the concerns of agitating people by using the 24 amendment proposals registered in the Parliament and the top leadership would decide what all to include in draft of the bill, Shrestha said.
“I hope the solution will soon be found on the issue of giving legitimacy to the proposed mechanism for settling the issue of provincial boundaries within three months,” added Shrestha.
Prime Minister Oli has called the top UDMF leaders for a meeting at 9:00am tomorrow, according to UML leader and Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Agni Prasad Kharel.
Kharel said the mechanism to resolve the issue of boundaries could be legitimised through the Parliament. The UDMF has sought to mention the mechanism in the constitution itself. RPP-N leader Dilnath Giri said today’s meeting focused on how to pass the bill on Saturday with two thirds majority.
Meanwhile, UCPN-M Chief Whip Hita Raj Pande today issued whip to the party’s lawmakers to be present in the Parliament on Saturday. The House is scheduled to begin discussion on the bill tomorrow and put it to vote on Saturday.