Kathmandu, November 9
Lawmakers of the agitating Madhes-based parties obstructed proceedings at the House for the second consecutive day today demanding that the government address their concerns.
The parliament was adjourned till November 22 following the obstruction.
Before obstructing the proceedings, Gopal Dahit of Tharuhat Tarai Party Nepal said the obstruction would not stop until the concerns of agitating parties were addressed. “Thousands of people have been in the street for three months in the plains. However, the government and major political parties are ignoring their concerns,” Dahit said.
He said House proceedings can move ahead only when there is concrete consensus on the demands and Parliament begins the process of amending the new constitution. He urged the government to find solutions in consultation with the agitating forces.
Following Dahit’s address on behalf of the eight agitating parties, their members went to the well and chanted slogans with their demands. Then, Speaker Onsari Gharti adjourned the House for 13 days.
The Madhes-based parties, which have been resorting to blockade on the Nepal-India border and impeding transit, had joined the Parliament yesterday. They have said their protest in the Parliament will complement their street agitation.
Their major concerns are: proportional inclusion, provision of constitution delimitation on the basis of population and at least two separate provinces in the plain region in the new constitution.
Meanwhile, lawmakers of Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Unified CPN-Maoist urged that the issue of Madhes agitation be addressed through constitution amendment and the bill related to the reconstruction authority be passed from Parliament at the earliest.
“The previous NC-led government had registered two important bills related to constitution amendment and reconstruction authority. However, this government has not moved ahead with the two bills and it has prolonged the agitation in the plains, thus worsening the condition of earthquake victims.
So, the government should move these bills ahead with topmost priority,” said NC lawmaker Ram Krishna Yadav, addressing today’s House meeting before Madhesi lawmakers resorted to obstruction.
Bikash Lamsal of CPN-UML blamed the main opposition Nepali Congress of showing double standard in relation to addressing the agitation of Tarai-Madhes and moving the authority-related bill ahead.
“The NC refused to sit in the government’s talks-team and is obstructing the authority-related bill at the Legislation Committee of the Parliament. This shows the party’s double standard,” he said.
Sita Nepali of UCPN-M urged the leaders of major parties to make serious efforts to address the Madhes agitation as it has created serious humanitarian crisis throughout the country.
A version of this article appears in print on November 10, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.