Report tabled amid protests

Kathmandu, July 28

The Committee on Citizen Relations and Public Opinion Collection of the Constituent Assembly today tabled its report that incorporated suggestions of nearly two lakh people within and outside the country.

Tabling the report, chairperson of the committee Pramila Rana said, “Feedback reflects people’s desire for a prosperous Nepal in their life time. The

CA will incorporate their suggestions to the maximum possible extent and clear the way for prosperous Nepal by promulgating the new constitution at the earliest.”

The concluding section of the report states that people are mostly concerned about the rights of centre, states and local bodies. “It needs additional discussion on these issues in the presence of experts,” the report stated.

Meanwhile, as soon as CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang called Rana to the rostrum for tabling the report, four dissident Madhes-based parties — Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal led by Upendra Yadav, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party led by Mahantha Thakur, Sadbhawana Party led by Rajendra Mahato and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal led by Mahendra Yadav — went to the well and chanted slogans demanding not to proceed the CA business until their concerns are addressed. They have been protesting in the CA demanding to demarcate the boundaries of the federal units before the new constitution is promulgated.

Earlier, Dalit members of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, Unified CPN-Maoist and other parties criticised the leaders of major parties for ignoring the rights of Dalits, who are the most oppressed group in the country.

“The first draft even removed the rights ensured by the Interim Constitution and the previous reports of the CA committees. There should be provision of reservation for Dalits in the Parliament and key posts, including President, vice-president, prime minister and speaker,” said NC lawmaker Man Bahadur Bishwakarma.

Jit Bahadur Darji Gautam and Pemba Bhote of CPN-UML, Daljit BK Shripali of Unified CPN-Maoist and Ram Kumar Rai of Khumbuwan Rastriya Morcha Nepal criticised the leaders of undermining the Dalits by “snatching” their rights.

Ashok Rai of FSFN criticised the ruling parties for preventing the people of opposing views from participating in the feedback collection programmes.

CA Chairman Subas Chandra Nembang has called the CA’s meeting for 11:00am tomorrow to discuss how the Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee should deal with the report. “The discussions on it will likely conclude tomorrow after which the CA will send the report to the CPDCC,” Nembang said. The CPDCC is likely to be given three-four days to forge consensus on the issues to be incorporated in the draft constitution on the basis of people’s feedback, according to CA sources.

Secularism, citizenship Articles’ language may be changed

KATHMANDU: A meeting of four parties – Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN-Maoist and Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic – held on Tuesday morning at Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s residence in Baluwatar decided to modify the language of Articles related to secularism and citizenship issue through the CA, according to UCPN-M leader Narayankaji Shrestha. “Misconception over the two issues was reflected during the CA’s feedback collection drive. We have decided to modify the language related to secularism and citizenship after holding further consultations,” Shrestha said.

It also decided to hold separate meeting with dissident parties, including the Madhesis and the office bearers of constitutional bodies — Supreme Court and Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority — and Nepali Army and Nepal Police to listen to their concerns about the constitution, according to Shrestha. The meeting with the office bearers NA and police has been scheduled for tomorrow itself, according to him.

MJF-D Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar said the parties were holding consultations on demarcating the boundaries of the federal units before delivering the new constitution.