Kathmandu, December 27

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal today invited Chief of the Local Bodies Restructuring Commission Balananda Paudel to his office for discussion, but declined to give him time saying he was busy with political parleys.

LBRC chief Paudel, who reached the Prime Minister’s Official residence at 10: 00am, was told that the PM would invite him at a convenient time.

“The PM could not meet the LBRC chief  today, as discussions with the Nepali Congress had been extended,” said PM Dahal’s Political Adviser Govinda Acharya. He said it was normal for the PM to be busy, as he was the executive head and had a lot of duties and responsibilities to carry out. According to Acharya, the PM will hold discussion with LBRC members and receive the LBRC report after discussion with political parties. He said that the PM wanted consensus among major parties before accepting the LBRC’s report.

The LBRC members said the government was hesitating to receive the report as receiving it would render the local bodies under the old structure invalid.

According to Article 303 of the constitution, the current local bodies will become non-existent after the LBRC submits its report to the government.

Due to this constitutional provision, the PM has been avoiding a meeting with LBRC members and refusing to accept its report, said LBRC member Sunil Ranjan Singh.

Frustrated with the government’s repeated refusal to accept its report, the commission yesterday sent a formal letter to the PM, seeking time to submit it.

The constitutional body is mandated to determine the number and boundaries of local bodies, informed the PM. He said the LBRC had determined the number, boundaries, centres, names and wards of local bodies and completed the report.

The PM’s Political Adviser Chakrapani Khanal said the government wanted some kind of consensus among major parties before accepting the LBRC report. He said the PM and CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba had discussed issues related to the LBRC report and agreed to hold further discussion on whether to hold election under the new structure or the old system.

The LBRC said it had proposed to create around 720 local bodies.