Nidhi rules out timely constitution

PATNA: Nepali Congress general secretary Bimalendra Nidhi has said he would be less truthful if he said the constitution would be written within the May 28 deadline.

Talking to The Himalayan Times on the sidelines of a three-day seminar titled "Towards a New Era in Nepal," being organised here by the Embassy of India in Nepal, Nidhi said that of the 11 CA committees, only one committee had submitted its report thus far. "And if all the CA committees took a minimum of seven days to present their reports, which was less likely, it would take all the CA committees at least 70 days to present their reports and then there would not be enough time to conduct full house debate and get people's feedback on the constitutional provisions."

He added, "Now even if the CA moves at a speed of 180 kilometer per hour, it is less likely that the country could write the new constitution within the stipulated time frame.”

Nidhi blamed the UCPN -Maoist for the delay in bringing peace process to a logical conclusion and writing the new constitution within the specified time.

The NC leader further said that the issue of peace and constitution writing processes were the two main tasks before the political stakeholders of the country to complete, but they had not been able to do so because of Maoists' obstinacy.

"Maoists are not willing to discuss peace process and constitution writing. Instead, they are obsessed with issue of joint-motion and a Maoist-led government," Nidhi said. He also flayed the ex-rebels for saying that the new constitution would not be written if there was not a Maoist-led government in the country.

The NC leader said that all the political parties including the Unified CPN-Maoist should sit together with a copy of 12-point agreement, Comprehensive Peace Accord and the Interim Constitution and should look into their roles. "Once we look into what we have been doing, we know what mistakes we have committed. Maoists will know they are primarily responsible for the current mess," Nidhi added.

On a query on Indo-Nepal cooperation and concerns, the NC leader said that international community in general and India in particular were concerned about the fate of Nepal's peace process. He said he found enormous goodwill among the Indian authorities towards Nepal and expected India to continuously provide support to Nepal's peace process. "Indian authorities want to see a stable, peaceful and prosperous Nepal," Nidhi said.

When asked to comment on India's security concern in Nepal, Nidhi said the recent terrorism posed threat to all communities and nations, so India's increased security concern in Nepal was understandable. "We should fully understand security concerns of our neighbours and strengthen our security mechanism accordingly," he added.