Big Three likely to table both bills

Kathmandu, December 14

Leaders of the three major political parties today discussed four alternatives to clear the House obstruction and make way for tabling Constitution Amendment Bill and Reconstruction Authority Bill.


They are likely to table both the bills together, ignoring objections from the United Democratic Madhesi Front.

During a meeting of top leaders of three major parties called by Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar at her office in Singha Durbar, ruling CPN-UML and Unified CPN-Maoist today agreed to go for any of the alternatives that suited the Nepali Congress, which is the main opposition party, according to sources.

“NC leaders have said that the party would choose one of the four alternatives after discussing them tomorrow morning,” said sources.

The four alternatives are  to include both the bills in the business schedule of the House and table them ignoring protests from UDMF; to include both the bills in the business schedule initially but to remove the Constitution Amendment Bill from the schedule through the Speaker’s announcement and table only the reconstruction authority bill; to include the two bills in separate business schedules and table them in two separate meetings of the House held within 15-30 minutes of each other; or to table only the reconstruction authority bill, according to sources.

Although the UDMF has agreed to table the reconstruction authority bill, it is against tabling it along with the Constitution Amendment Bill.

On the other hand, the NC has been obstructing the House since last week demanding to table both the bills together. Both the bills were registered in the Parliament by previous NC-led government.

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli, on behalf of the ruling coalition, told NC leaders Ramchandra Paudel, Prakash Man Singh and Chinkaji Shrestha  to choose any of the alternatives and assured them that the ruling parties would back NC’s decision, said the sources.

In response, Paudel said the party would choose one of the alternatives tomorrow. The NC has called a meeting of its office bearers’ tomorrow morning to decide which alternative suits it.

Unified CPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and former Speaker Subas Chandra Nembang were also present in the meeting, while NC President Sushil Koirala was absent, as he was unwell.

“The leaders have promised to zero in on one of the alternatives before tomorrow’s meeting slated for 1:00pm and help clear the House obstruction,” said the Speaker.

Both the bills are important and can be tabled together or separately at a short interval, she said.

Former Speaker Nembang said today’s meeting ended on a positive note and most probably the major parties would agree to clear the House obstruction tomorrow.

UDMF, however, will obstruct the House if the Constitution Amendment Bill was included in the business schedule without reaching consensus on the concerns of agitating Madhes-based parties, said Sadbhawana Party’s Co-Chair Laxman Lal Karna.