Kathmandu, July 19
Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal leaders today rejected the ruling parties’ proposal to accept the result of voting on the constitution amendment bill.
According to Nepali Congress leader Bimalendra Nidhi, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba told RJP-N leaders that he was in favour of putting the constitution amendment bill to vote, provided the RJP-N was ready to accept the verdict.
“I’ll try to ensure two-third majority in favour of the bill but if the bill is rejected, you better accept the result and join the poll process,” Nidhi quoted PM Deuba as telling RJP-N leaders. The PM also told RJP-N leaders that if the bill failed in the Parliament that would at least show who was in its favour and who was against it.
According to Nidhi, RJP-N leaders said they were not fighting for just putting the bill to vote but their fight was for amending the constitution.
According to Rajendra Mahato and Anil Kumar Jha, members of the RJP-N presidium, they told the ruling parties that they wanted the government to first meet some of their other demands, such as increasing the number of local levels in Madhes, withdrawing false charges slapped against cadres and leaders of the agitating forces, declaring those killed during Madhes agitation martyrs and providing assistance to those who were injured during Madhes agitation. Jha and Mahato told the ruling parties that after the government met their other demands they would talk to it about the amendment bill.
The RJP-N has called a meeting to discuss political issues tomorrow.
RJP-N leaders told the ruling parties that when former Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal decided to withdraw the first constitution amendment bill and register the second amendment bill, he told RJP-N leaders that he did so to ensure support of all the parties, including the main opposition, for the bill. He wondered why the ruling parties failed to ensure the passage of the second amendment bill.
The PM told the meeting that since the Supreme Court had stayed the government’s decision to increase the number of local levels in the Tarai, he could not do anything about the issue now.
According to Nidhi, the PM assured RJP-N leaders that the government would address other demands of the RJP-N within four days. The PM instructed Minister of Home Affairs Janardan Sharma to do the needful to address other demands of the RJP-N.
PM Deuba, CPN-MC Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal and RJP-N leader Mahantha Thakur were among those who attended the meeting.
A version of this article appears in print on July 20, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.