Amendment bill to be put to vote soon

We should take part in elections after the bill is put to vote • Sharat Singh Bhandari, A member of RJP-N presidium

Kathmandu, August 11

The Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal today agreed to take part in the third phase of local level polls after the ruling parties agreed to put the constitution amendment bill to vote.

A meeting of the senior leaders of ruling Nepali Congress, CPN-Maoist Centre and RJP-N leaders held at Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s official residence also decided to make sincere efforts to pass the bill, said a member of RJP-N presidium, Sharat Singh Bhandari.

Bhandari, who was present in the meeting, told THT that the government would also fulfil other RJP-N demands within a week.  “We should take part in elections after the bill is put to vote,” said Bhandari. He said his party would go to people, even if the bill failed in the House.

Bhandari said both sides decided to make sincere efforts from their respective sides to pass the bill. He hoped that the bill would be passed.

According to Bhandari, the government has also agreed to increase the number of local levels in Madhes in proportion to the population of the region, to withdraw false charges slapped against RJP-N cadres, to provide compensation to the families of those who were killed or sustained injuries during protests and to confer martyrdom status on those who were killed, within a week.

CPN-MC senior leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, who was also present in the meeting, said, “We have reached an understanding to put the bill to vote within a couple of days.”

He said the government would fulfil RJP-N’s other demands as well. NC leaders, who attended today’s meeting, were in favour of putting the bill to vote only after  PM Deuba returns  from his India visit, according to an RJP-N leader.

However, RJP-N leaders told leaders of ruling parties and the government that it would be too late for them to take part in the upcoming local level polls, if the amendment bill was not put to vote within a week. Later, the PM and senior leaders of ruling parties agreed to start the process immediately, said a source. The third phase of local level elections is scheduled for September 18 in 127 local levels of Province 2.

CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, senior leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha, Minister of Home Affairs Janardan Sharma, NC leaders Bimalendra Nidhi and Krishna Prasad Sitaula, and RJP-N presidium members were present in the meeting.