‘Let House pass bill on reconstruction authority’

Kathmandu, December 7

Underlining the urgency to clear the obstruction of proceedings of the Legislature Parliament being resorted to by Madhes-based parties, the major parties today urged leaders of the agitating parties available in Kathmandu to let the House function so that the bill related to reconstruction authority be passed.

The government and major parties are under pressure to pass the authority related bill to prevent the possibility of donor agencies diverting the pledged sum to other countries/areas due to the delay in setting up of the authority. But the continuous House obstruction has blocked the passage of the bill.

In an attempt to clear the House obstruction, the major parties today proposed the agitating parties to begin discussion on a motion on the demands of agitating parties or begin discussion on the Constitution Amendment Bill, keeping the door open for incorporating the concerns of agitating parties in the bill by introducing separate amendment proposal on the bill on the basis of consensus to be forged among the parties later.

Agitating Madhes-based parties, however, asked the three major parties to wait for top leaders of the United Democratic Madhesi Front to return to Kathmandu on Wednesday from their India visit, according to Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal leader Shivajee Yadav.

Following the talks held in the Parliament building in the presence of Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar, Unified CPN-Maoist Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, CPN-UML leaders Jhalanath Khanal and Bhim Rawal, Nepali Congress leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal leader Kamal Thapa, the next meeting of the House has been scheduled for 3:00pm on Thursday, keeping in view the possibility of forging consensus by then.

The agitating parties, however, continued their House obstruction today as well by chanting slogans from the well of the House.

“UDMF’s top leaders will sit with top leaders of three major parties on Thursday morning and with the Speaker in the afternoon. If consensus could be forged by then, the House could function smoothly.

Otherwise, the obstruction will continue,” said Yadav.

The three parties expressed concern that the foreign donor agencies might cancel the pledged sum earmarked for post-quake reconstruction if the authority related bill could not be passed soon.

“Since the proposed constitution amendment bill does not specifically mention the proportional representation on the basis of population of clusters of underprivileged communities and the delineation of constituencies is proposed keeping the current structure of districts in view, the bill’s provisions are not sufficient,” Yadav said.

UML Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal said the meeting ended on a positive note of finding a way out to clear the House obstruction by Thursday.

“UDMF leaders want to take a decision only after its leaders return from India visit,” said UCPN-Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

A separate meeting of leaders of three major parties held earlier at the office of Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar in Singha Durbar had decided to make all efforts to convince the agitating Madhesi parties to make the Parliament proceedings smooth, according to Nepali Congress Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha.