Province 2 CM Raut threatens street protest

Kathmandu, January 26

Chief Minister of Province 2 Lalbabu Raut today said if the federal government did not respect the autonomy and power of the provinces in the two bills related to internal security and operation, supervision and coordination of Nepal Police and provincial police, then his government would launch street protest and also file a case at the Supreme Court raising constitutional issues.

He said this at an interaction at Reporters Club here today.

The Police Bill has already been registered in the Parliament Secretariat but the Internal Security Bill  is under consideration in the Cabinet.

CM Raut said the police bill infringed upon the provincial government’s powers. The provinces have exclusive power to run the police administration and maintain peace and security. “It is under the provincial governments’ power to determine the level of police they should have, but this bill states the federal government will deploy police from the DSP level and above,” he said and added that the bill went too far in saying that the federal government would even designate the uniform of the provincial police.

He said if the federal government didn’t correct mistakes in the two bills, it would create conflict between the federal and provincial governments.

Commenting on the internal security bill, CM Raut said the bill gave powers to  chief district officers beyond constitutional sanction to control the provincial police and even probe irregularities and corruption.

“If the CDOs are given such power, then what is the justification of having provincial governments?” he wondered.

Raut said the two bills brought by the federal government had tried to treat provincial governments as if they were development units. “Federalism is division of power, not distribution of powers but these bills only intend to distribute powers,” he added.

He said if the two bills were enacted, they would establish parallel federal government in the provinces. “I have discussed the two bills with some senior advocates and they told me that these bills could sabotage federalism,” he said.

CM Raut said his government had launched an insurance programme for daughters in Province 2 whereby all daughters born after mid-January would be entitled to government-funded Rs 100,000 insurance programme from mid-January.

Province 2 government expects to pay around Rs 1 billion in the form of premiums annually.

Province 2 launched the insurance programme for daughters to control child marriage and promote inclusion of women in the provincial administration and police service.

“For poor families, Rs 100,000 means a lot. Poor families that will get Rs 100,000 after their daughters reach 20 years, will not seek to marry off their daughters before that age,” he argued. Raut said the insurance programme would also encourage families to educate their daughters, who would benefit from the reservation in government jobs. Province 2 has reserved 50 per cent seats in administration and police service for women.

On the issue of naming Province 2 and its headquarters, Raut said a commission formed to take people’s feedback would submit its report and these two decisions would be taken on the basis of the commission’s report.

Sore points

  • Police bill usurps the right of provinces to deploy officers as the federal government has the power to deploy officers from DSP level and above
  • Internal security bill gives too much power to CDOs and this is against the concept of federalism
  • If enacted, the bills would establish parallel federal government in the provinces