Kathmandu, August 4
Leaders of political parties today said they would reach consensus by tomorrow evening on the disputed issues of the new constitution, including boundaries of the federal units.
Sources said the leaders were close to an agreement on six-state model, although they were also holding discussions on eight-state model. In the six-state model, two states will be in the Tarai region, while four in hilly and mountainous region.
“Parties may agree to include Jhapa in a hilly state, while Morang and Sunsari may go to Tarai if attempts made by the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML to include the three districts in the hilly region fail,” said a leader who attended meeting of the special committee formed by the Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee held in Singha Durbar till late evening.
Kailali district may be included in a hilly state, while Kanchanpur maybe split to be shared by hilly and Tarai states, according to the source.
“We discussed many provisions of the new constitution and have reached consensus on many of them. We are working with a plan to forge consensus on all issues, including boundaries of the federal units, by tomorrow evening,” said CPDCC Chairman Baburam Bhattarai after the meeting of its special committee. Bhattarai said the CPDCC would submit its report to the Constituent Assembly by Thursday.
CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli said the number of states could be less than eight proposed in the 16-point deal.
NC leader Ramchandra Paudel said, “We will settle all the disputes tomorrow. Even the citizenship issue will be settled.”
Unified CPN-Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the special committee discussed the Preamble, citizenship, fundamental rights, directive principles of state, provisions related to President and vice-president, federal and provincial executives and boundaries of federal units in detail. He said today’s meeting concluded with a commitment of all top leaders to settle all the disputed issues by tomorrow evening.
“We are debating both six and eight-state models and I believe we will reach consensus on contentious issues including the boundaries by tomorrow evening,” Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar told THT.
Parties are likely to retain the “or” provision of the citizenship as stipulated in the Interim Constitution, said Narayan Kaji Shrestha, adding that agreement on the same was yet to be reached. It means a child will be able to get Nepali citizenship certificate on the basis of the Nepali nationality of either his/her father or mother. The leaders have not yet reached an agreement on the issue of secularism, according to Shrestha.
Earlier, after the special committee’s meeting in the morning, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had said that efforts were under way to promulgate the new constitution by addressing the concerns of all, including the Madhes-based parties. “I believe we can still deliver the new constitution by August 17,” Koirala said. He added that he did not want to miss the historic opportunity of promulgating the new constitution.
Likely fate of districts
• Jhapa may be included in a hilly state
• Morang and Sunsari may go to Tarai states
• Kailali may be included in a hilly state
• Kanchanpur may have to be split to be shared by hilly and Tarai states
A version of this article appears in print on July 05, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.