Prez tells VP: Take oath in Nepali

KATHMANDU: The row over Vice President Paramananda Jha's oath of office in Hindi took a new twist Tuesday as the ruling coalition differ sharply over the apex court's order to administer him a fresh oath in Nepali.

The differences surfaced as the Supreme Court on Sunday served a week-long ultimatum to VP Jhapa to retake the oath in Nepali language. Jha came under scathing criticisms from many quarters after he took the oath of office in Hindi.

Ruling CPN-UML, Nepali Congress and some fringe parties have pressed for fresh oath in Nepali. But the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic), Tarai Madhes Democratic party (TMDP) and Sadbhawana Party said there was no need of it.

Meanwhile, a joint-meeting of the Madhes-based parties today declared that VP Jha need not take fresh oath in Nepali.

TMDP president Mahantha Thakur categorically rejected the demand made by UML and Congress. Emerging out of the meeting, Thakur said, "Supreme Court's order is not acceptable to Madhesh-based parties, it is a regressive step."

On the contrary, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, another Madhesh-based party,

has pressed for Jha's

resignation. A central committee meeting of MJF today confirmed this stance of the party.

Meanwhile, a political consultation is on to find a way out of the stalemate.

Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal busied himself throughout the day in political consultations. He is learnt to have conferred with President Dr. Ram Baran Yadav seeking an advise to resolve the stalemate. President Yadav later met VP Jha and requested him to retake the oath in Nepali language to uphold the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007 and the apex court order. "The President and the Vice President held parleys for half an hour," Rajendra Dahal, President's advisor told this daily.

"The President told the Vice President that office bearers of his stature and height should respect the Constitution," he added.

It was not known immediately what VP Jha had to say, but Mithilesh Kumar Singh, advisor to the Vice President, said, "Jha will not take fresh oath in Nepali but will be prepared for all consequences."

Meanwhile, report from Parasi Today said, Madhes-based political parties and their sister organisations took to street protesting the Apex Court's decision.

They demanded the withdrawal of the Supreme Court's order and the right to take oath in Hindi. Speaking at a corner meet following the rally, central member of MJF Kailash Mehata accused the Supreme Court of insulting the Madhesi people.

‘Betrayed’ Jha fires back

Kathmandu: Vice President Paramanada Jha today vented ire against the judges and charged the government of betraying him by delaying the tabling of the seventh amendment bill. The bill is to amend the Interim Constitution of Nepal, 2007, to uphold the legality of Jha's oath in his mother tongue - Hindi.

On August 23, a full bench of the Supreme Court judges served an ultimatum to VPJha to take fresh oath in Nepali within seven days or quit.

Talking to The Himalayan Times today, Jha said the government decided to amend the Constitution two weeks ago in which he could retake oath in his mother tongue but said it was not serious at all to table the bill in the parliament.

"I wonder why the government is not respecting me. Is the government serious at all in this matter?" he asked. "This is not merely an issue concerning me and my mother-tongue, but of the people living in the Tarai region," he added.

"There was no need for the full bench of judges to serve the ultimatum."

"The apex court did not decide the case with full wisdom," he added.

Meanwhile, Rajendra Dahal, press advisor to the President, said the President's Office at Sital Niwas had taken up the issue. "We wrote to the PMO for an arrangement to execute the court order." — HNS