New districts’ names to remain same

Kathmandu, May 25

The names of two districts — Rukum and Nawalparasi — that were split into two each will remain the same if the constitution is not amended by two-thirds majority.

While Nawalparasi was split into Nawalparasi (Bardghat Susta East) and Nawalparasi (Bardghat Susta west), Rukum was split into Rukum East and Rukum West in the new constitution promulgated in 2015.

Secretary at the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya said the home ministry had forwarded a proposal to rename the four districts but experts told the government that the names could not be changed without amending the constitution. Any provision of the constitution can only be changed with two-thirds

majority, but the Nepal Communist Party, which is the largest party in the Parliament, does not have two-thirds majority.

District Coordination Committee of Nawalparasi (Bardghat Susta West) Shiv Shankar Prasad Ray said the locals wanted their district to be named Nawalparasi, but they could not change the name themselves. He said none of the government authorities had sought opinion of the District Coordination Committee on what should be the name of the district.

Chief District Officer of Nawalparasi (Bardghat Susta West) said the name of the district was unnecessarily long and district people wanted to have a new name that could symbolise their identity.

Chief Minister of Karnali province Mahendra Bahadur Shahi said since Rukum East and Rukum West had been stated in the constitution as the names of the districts, it would remain like that. “In my province, residents of Rukum East and Rukum West do not have any issue with the names. They seem to accept the names so I think these names will remain,” he added.

Senior Advocate Chandra Kanta Gyawali added that since names of the four districts were clearly stated in the constitution and their boundaries were fixed by the constitution, the names could not be changed without amending the constitution.