Kathmandu, December 30

The United Democratic Madhesi Front today made it clear that it would not accept any kind of polls before a revised constitution amendment bill was passed in the Parliament.

This was stated in a press release issued by the front here today at the conclusion of its two-day meeting.

The UDMF’s warning came ahead of the government’s preparation to announce dates for local polls.

The main opposition party, CPN-UML, has been obstructing the House proceedings since the government registered the constitution amendment bill on November 29 demanding withdrawal of the bill.

The front also said that if polls were held without addressing the issues raised by Madhesis, Tharus, indigenous nationalities, women, Dalits and Muslims, they would only intensify conflicts in society.

UDMF leader Mahantha Thakur told mediapersons at a press conference here that the front would organise protest assemblies at 1:00pm on January 2 in all Tarai districts to pressure the major parties to pass a revised constitution amendment bill.

He added that the front would organise similar protest programmes in all districts later. The UDMF also opposed report of the Local Bodies’ Restructuring Commission, terming it incomplete and unconstitutional. It said the LBRC had not accepted the principle of representation by population.

The front also demanded that the local bodies be under jurisdiction of the provincial government. The front stated that the LBRC’s report was against Articles 56 (4) and (5) and 295 (3) of the constitution.

Thakur said the LBRC violated constitutional provision as it failed to create special protected and autonomous regions as stated in Article 56 (5) of the constitution.

The front condemned the CPN-UML’s obstruction of House proceedings, stating that during the promulgation of the constitution the party had committed to addressing the concerns of Madhesis, Tharus, indigenous nationalities, women, Dalits and Muslims but now resorting to undemocratic acts against the norms of parliamentary democracy.

When asked if the UDMF would withdraw its support to the current government, Thakur said, “If we have to start a movement, we’ll behave like forces that launch one do.”

He added that the major forces were not paying any attention to Madhesis’ demands, leaving them with no option but to resort to protests.

Thakur added that the Parliament had the authority to change boundaries of the provinces.

Agreement to table bills

KATHMANDU: The Nepali Congress and the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front agreed on Friday to table the constitution amendment bill in the House, which was registered in the Parliament Secretariat a month ago.

A meeting of the NC and UDMF leaders held at NC parliamentary party office at Singha Durbar took the decision to this effect.

According to NC leader Gopal Man Shrestha, the NC and UDMF leaders agreed to table the constitution amendment bill and election-related bills simultaneously in the House.

UDMF leader and Co-Chair of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said NC leaders assured the UDMF that the ruling parties would try their best to pass the bill from the Parliament.