New issues crop up to add to confusion


With newer issues coming for discussion regarding the demarcation of the six states, the top leaders on Friday failed to forge consensus on the boundaries of federal units.

Unified CPN-Maoist leaders said the party suspected that forces wanting to foil second Constituent Assembly could be guiding the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML leaders, without substantiating their charge.

UCPN-M negotiator Narayan Kaji Shrestha said his party accepted the proposal to include Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari into the eastern hill province and also decided to accept the NC/UML’s proposal to include Kailali and Kanchanpur in the western hill province with a note of dissent.

“We wanted to accept their proposal for the sake of the constitution but now they have brought up new issues. We have serious doubt that the NC and the UML might be guided by the forces that want even the second CA to fail,” he added.

Shrestha said yesterday NC and UML brought another proposal to include hilly areas of Lumbini and Rapti zones in the Madhes province from Nawalparasi to Bardiya.

After the leaders failed to forge consensus, Chairman of the Constitutional Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee Baburam Bhattarai urged its members to provide more time to the top leaders for forging consensus. “We are working day and night. Yesterday the discussion ended on a positive note. On Friday we failed to resolve some important issues of demarcation of states,” Bhattarai told mediapersons.

“It is obvious that resolving the issues that the parties have failed to resolve in the last eight years would certainly become difficult at this last moment,” he said but added that the parties didn’t have any alternative but to give constitution to the people on time.

The CPDCC meeting has been scheduled for 1:00pm on Saturday and the top leaders are scheduled to meet at 10:30am.

The CA meeting scheduled for 5:00pm on Friday has also been postponed till 3:00pm on Saturday.

Since the leaders wanted to iron out their differences an informal meeting of the top leader has been scheduled for Saturday morning, Bhattarai said.

NC lawmaker Ramesh Lekhak said the UCPN-M had differences with the ruling coalition on the fate of Palpa, Gulmi, Arghakhanchi, Rolpa and Rukum districts in the federal structure. He said newer issues came up for discussion with the delay in consensus, creating more confusion.

UML Vice-chair Bidhya Bhandari said leaders were discussing how to manage Saptari and Siraha.

UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli said parties were hopeful that things would be resolved by Saturday. “Discussion is essential on such serious issues facing the country,” Oli said.

NC Joint General Secretary Purna Bahadur Khadka, however, said there was no theoretical basis for either the eight-state or the six-state model. “Eight-state model was floated after the four parties agreed on it. They later agreed on a six-state model just because people suggested fewer provinces,” he said.