Big Three's views on SRC's ToR conflicting

KATHMANDU: Senior leaders of the three major parties - Unified CPN-Maoist, Nepali Congress and CPN-UML - today continued discussions on the formation of the constitutional State Restructuring Commission (SRC) and its Terms of References (ToR).

But they failed to reach a conclusion due to conflicting views expressed by the UCPN-Maoist and the NC and UML. Article 138 of the Interim Constitution has envisaged forming a high-level state restructuring commission to make suggestions on restructuring the state on federal line.

UCPN-Maoist leaders insisted that the ToR of the SRC should be prepared in such a way that it would not be prejudice to the already report prepared by the Constituent Assembly Committee on State Restructuring and Distribution of State Power (STDSP), which proposed 14 federal units on identity basis of communities.

Maoist leader Narayankaji Shrestha, emerging from the meeting at Hotel Radisson, said they had proposed that the SRC should be allowed to look into only the "technical aspects" of the federal units carved out by the SRDSP.

Shrestha said the SRC cannot give a completely different report, challenging the SRDSP report to the CA. He said all the issues, including the formation of the SRC, should be sorted out in a "package". He said SRC should have been formed well before the SRDSP started its work.

But the NC and CPN-UML leaders said the constitutional body should have all rights to suggest its report on the state restructuring independently.

"As a constitutional body, the SRC can come up with its independent report to the CA which can be different from the one presented by the SRDSP," UML leader Keshav Badal said.

It may be recalled that the Prachanda-led government had appointed Ganesh Bahadur Gurung as coordinator of the SRC. But it did not get a complete shape due to "non-cooperation" of the then main opposition, NC, and other parties.

"We are yet to reach an understanding on ToR of the SRC," NC vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel said, adding that the commission should submit its report to the CA within one month from the date of its formation.

Poudel said the CA full House had divergent views regarding the federal units proposed by the SRDSP committee. He said SRDSP's report could not be taken as a final one as there were many stages to go through before it was adopted as the final one.

Ramchandra Jha, UML leader, said the Gurung commission should be reactivated with appointment of the required members in it. He claimed that there was no disagreement among the parties on Gurung retaining as the SRC coordinator.

"I think none of the parties can now reject Gurung as its coordinator," Jha said. He said the SRC should give its report on restructuring of the state before the first draft of the constitution was taken to the public. As the parties failed to strike a deal on ToR of the SRC they are scheduled to sit again on Friday as well.