Speaker likely to send bill to special committee

Kathmandu, March 3

Chances of sending the Constitution amendment bill to a special committee are high as holding debate on the bill in the Parliament can take weeks, according to certain lawmakers.

CPN-Maoist Centre lawmaker Ramnarayan Badari said the unprecedented number of amendment proposals on the constitution amendment bill would make the process lengthy in the House.

"I am wondering why the Madhesi parties submitted so many proposals to amend the bill," Bidari said and added that if all the lawmakers wanted to take part in the debate it could take months to pass the bill.

According to Bidari, Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar used to send bills to House panel when more than a dozen MPs had registered amendment proposals. "The amendment bill cannot be sent to any of the existing committees of the House and therefore she needs to form a special committee which can hold clause-wise discussions on the bill," he said.

Bidari said if the bill was sent to a special committee, it could take a month to conclude discussion on the bill.

He said the UML, which is dead against the constitution amendment bill, and the Madhesi parties, which are saying that they would not accept polls without the bill being passed, should moderate their stances.

"If the bill is put to vote, the UML must accept it. The Madhesi parties should also accept the result irrespective of the voting results," he said.

Nepali Congress lawmaker Radheshyam Adhikari told this daily that the PM was reluctant to put the bill to vote mainly because the Madhesi parties had been saying that they would accept polls only after a revised constitution amendment bill was passed.

After Rastriya Prajatantra Party told the government that it won’t support the bill in the current form, the PM gave a public statement saying chances of bill being passed in the House were slim. Adhikari also said that sending the constitution amendment bill to a special committee for clause-wise discussion was most likely.

Deputy Parliamentary Party Leader of CPN –UML Subas Candra Nembang said he did not think that the bill would be put to vote as Madhesi parties had threatened to quit the Parliament in case the bill failed.

He even ruled out the possibility of withdrawal of the amendment bill.