NC’s Tarai lawmakers may register separate proposal

Kathmandu, January 6

Madhes-based lawmakers of the Nepali Congress are preparing to register separate amendment proposal on the Bill on First Amendment of Constitution of Nepal, seeking to downsize the number of clusters to benefit from proportional inclusion and ensure more than 50 per cent constituencies in Tarai-Madhes region.

They will, however, register their proposal only if the major parties and agitating Madhes-based parties failed to register unanimous proposal on the basis of consensus.

As the new constitution mentions 17 clusters to benefit from proportional inclusion, the amendment proposal will seek to downsize the number so that only needy and marginalised groups would benefit from the proposed provision of proportional inclusion, said NC lawmaker Ganesh Kumar Mandal, who is working on the amendment proposal.

“Although the Interim Constitution had five clusters, the new constitution mentions 17 clusters. As many clusters in the new constitution are unnecessary and curtail the rights of marginalised people we want to downsize the number of clusters,” Mandal said adding it would also address the concerns of agitating Madhes-based parties.

The amendment proposal will also seek to ensure 83 of the 165 electoral constituencies in the Tarai-Madhes region and 82 in hilly and mountainous regions, according to Mandal.

“The meeting of Madhes-based lawmakers of the party will finalise the proposal tomorrow morning,” Mandal said. The proposal, which the party leadership has been dwelling on, is likely to be registered by the NC itself, he said. But if the party did not take initiative on it, the Madhes-based lawmakers of the party would register the proposal, according to him.

NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha said NC leadership was discussing whether to register a separate amendment proposal. As the Parliament meeting has been adjourned till January 13, the parties have time to hold informal consultations to forge consensus on the amendment proposals registered by tomorrow, he said.

CPN-UML has instructed its lawmakers not to register any amendment proposal without informing the party, according to UML whip Gokul Gharti.

The lawmakers will have to register their amendment proposal at bill section of the parliament secretariat by 3:00pm tomorrow as the 72-hour time allotted for the same would expire after that.

Although the deadline to register amendment proposal will expire tomorrow, the parties’ concerns could be included even after that.

As the Speaker can form a committee to manage the amendment proposals, such committee can make some adjustments.