Kathmandu, December 3
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today told leaders at the CPN-MC Secretariat meeting he would try his best to win the support of opposition parties, including Madhesi forces, on the constitution amendment bill.
Senior CPN-MC leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said the PM told party leaders that Madhesi parties should commit to participate in the local polls even if the bill failed in the Parliament. Shrestha informed that the PM said he would not wait more than two to three days for the Madhesi forces to support the bill and added there was no possibility of revising the amendment bill, as sought by the agitating Federal Alliance and the United Democratic Madhesi Front.
Another CPN-MC politburo member Mani Thapa said the PM was in favour of holding dialogue with political forces for three to four days to forge consensus on the constitution amendment bill and the government’s plan to hold local polls.
According to Thapa, the PM also said the government was not in a position to address more than what it had proposed in the bill given the current
The bill proposes to address four key issues: revision of provincial boundaries by creating another Tarai province from Nawalparasi Bardghat Susta west to Bardiya; representation in the upper House; citizenship and language. However, the FA and the UDMF say the government’s proposal is too less.
According to Thapa, the PM told party leaders that the government had proposed moderate changes and not comprehensive amendment proposals in the bill. “As we move ahead with the process of implementing the constitution, other demands of the agitating forces could also be addressed,” Thapa quoted the PM.
Thapa said the Secretariat meeting concluded that the ongoing agitation in Province 5 was instigated in the name of nationalism and it did not have the support of Madhesis and Janajatis. Thapa further said party leaders were also of the view that the current agitation in some hill districts were carefully designed by vested interests. “We concluded that people across the nation favour addressing the concerns of Madhesis to solidify unity between the people of the three regions: mountains, hills and the Tarai.” Thapa added.
Shrestha said party leaders were also of the view that the current agitation in Province 5 was caused by people’s fear that once the province was separated from Tarai districts, the residents of hill districts would lose facilities. “We are of the view that the current amendment bill was brought with the aim of serving the national cause and we will also try our best to convince people who are agitating against the bill,” Shrestha added.
A version of this article appears in print on November 04, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.