Kathmandu, April 7
A joint meeting of the Nepali Congress’ Parliamentary Party and the Central Working Committee today decided that the constitution amendment bill should be revised on the basis of maximum consensus to address the demands of Tarai-Madhes and put to vote.
This was stated in a press release issued by the NC Parliamentary Party Office.
NC CWC member Bishwa Prakash Sharma told mediapersons after the meeting that majority of leaders who spoke in today’s meeting said polls should be held in the entire country on the stipulated date of May 14 and the United Democratic Madhesi Front should also be taken on board the poll process.
The UDMF has threatened to boycott the local level polls if a revised constitution amendment bill is not passed.
Sharma said most speakers opined that a revised bill should be passed and revision of provincial boundaries should be postponed.
According to Sharma, majority of leaders and lawmakers who spoke today also stated that polls should be held in one phase but if the UDMF also joined the electoral process, the NC should not be an obstacle to the government’s efforts to hold local polls in two phases.
The two-phase option is also likely to be exercised in case all attempts to hold elections on May 14 across the nation fail, according to NC lawmaker Ananda Prasad Dhungana.
NC lawmaker Ram Krishna Yadav said most leaders said the constitution amendment bill should be put to vote even if there was no possibility of the bill getting passed with two-third majority.
NC leader Krishna Sitaula informed the meeting about the possible points of agreement that the government or the ruling parties could reach with the United Democratic Madhesi Front.
According to Yadav, Sitaula said there was a need for saving the current coalition and holding local elections on time. He said there was a likelihood that the government could withdraw the existing constitution amendment bill and table another five-point constitution amendment bill to address the demands of Madhesi forces.
Sitaula said the government was also trying to amend the constitution to delink voting rights of chiefs and deputy chiefs of local levels and to remove the restricting clause of Article 274 of the constitution.
A total of 23 lawmakers and NC leaders spoke at the meeting that decided to forward opinions of speakers to local level election manifesto drafting committee led by NC lawmaker Mahesh Acharya.
The speakers spoke about the party’s manifesto and issues related to constitution amendment.
A version of this article appears in print on April 08, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.