Four forces must reach agreement: Bimalendra Nidhi

Carving out north-south provinces as argued by some leaders will not be practical and scientific

Bimalendra Nidhi, Nepali Congress

Kathmandu, December 12

Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi said an agreement between the four forces — the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML, the Unified CPN-Maoist and the United Democratic Madhesi Front — was necessary to make the new constitution a complete document acceptable to all the major stakeholders.

Talking to THT on the issues raised by UDMF, Nidhi said consensus among the four forces was necessary to resolve the crisis. “The Interim Constitution lacked provision to hold Constituent Assembly elections for the second time and that happened mainly due to an agreement among the four forces,” Nidhi said and added that the 16-point agreement that sidelined the Madhesi forces was a tactical mistake on part of the major parties.

He said he was in favour of spending more time on debate in the second CA, but the three major parties hurriedly passed the new constitution, sidelining the Madhesi forces.

“In my party some leaders favoured fast track process, saying if the constitution was not promulgated soon, the second CA will also fail,” he said and added that since the second CA had two more years left, giving more time to debate would not have harmed anyone.

He said major parties favoured fast track process due to unfounded fears. “In the UCPN-M, party Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal raised the fear of revival of monarchy. UML chair told his party’s CA members that if they did not support the fast track process, they were free to leave the party,” he added.

Nidhi said parties needed some time to find a negotiated settlement on the question of provincial boundaries due to inter- and intra-party differences.

“Although the new constitution is a historic achievement, it is not yet a complete document,” he said and added that those who were saying that the constitution was endorsed by almost 90 per cent of CA members and therefore it should not be amended, were hiding the fact that there were people like him within the major parties who wanted changes in the new constitution.

He said the UDMF should not doubt NC’s intention about the constitutional issues and even if the Constitution Amendment Bill and Reconstruction Authority Bill were tabled together, the NC would try to seek resolution of UDMF’s demands in a package.

He said his party had officially decided to seek negotiated settlement on the issue of boundaries and it would stick to it.

Nidhi said he personally favoured equal number of provinces in hills and Madhes.