Change language of amendment bill, NC tells PM

Kathmandu, January 22

The Nepali Congress today told the ruling CPN-UML that the constitution amendment bill, being considered by the Parliament, should be revised to satisfy the lawmakers of different parties, as well as the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front.

This was conveyed to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and other leaders of the UML   when they met NC President Sushil Koirala, General Secretary Prakash Man Singh, party leaders Bimalendra Nidhi and Mahesh Acharya.

According to Acharya, his party leaders expressed concern about deteriorating political situation and told the PM that efforts should be made to change the language of the constitution amendment bill in a way that could be acceptable to all sides. “The passage of this bill might not be enough to convince the agitating parties to end their agitation, but if we can change the bill to respect the feelings of the UDMF, that could build positive momentum to settle other issues, particularly the question of provincial boundaries,” Acharya said.

UDMF leaders who held a meeting with the major parties yesterday had claimed that the PM was not ready to change the constitution amendment bill to their satisfaction.

“We believe that if the major parties show flexibility on the constitution amendment bill, the UDMF might not withdraw its protest programmes but its agitation would remain peaceful,” he said.

“Had we continued our talks with the UDMF, Rangeli incident could have been avoided,” Acharya added.

PM Oli, meanwhile, assured NC that he was in favour of forging consensus with the agitating forces on the bill and he had already assigned some ministers to work on the bill. According to Acharya, the PM told the NC leaders that the government would inform them once the ministers assigned to change the language of the bill were ready with a new draft.