UDMF to boycott debate on amendment bill
The way our voice is being ignored in the House, it is clear that big parties don’t give any importance to small parties
Kathmandu, January 1
The United Democratic Madhesi Front today made it clear that it would neither take part in deliberations on the constitution amendment bill nor relax the ongoing agitation till its demands were met.
The ruling CPN-UML, however, says if the UDMF does not take part in the debate on the constitution amendment bill, it would miss one more historic opportunity as far as the constitution making process and its first amendment was concerned.
Co-chair of Sadbhawana Party Laxman Lal Karna said the UDMF would not take part in the debate despite calls for the same from the major parties. He said it was against the parliamentary norms that the Speaker was running the House despite the obstruction from the Madhesi parties.
“The way our voice is being ignored in the Parliament, it is clear that the major parties do not give any importance to small parties,” Karna said and added that the next meeting of the front would devise strategies to intensify its agitation.
“We are not thinking of relaxing the border blockade or other protests programmes before our demands are met. If anybody says that the front is going to relax its protest programmes, then they are wrong,” Karna said.
Senior leader of the Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal Ram Naresh Ray said the UDMF would continue its agitation and would rather intensify it till its
demands were met. The UDMF, which has been agitating against the provisions of the new constitution, has put forth 11-point demands.
Taking part in the debate on constitution amendment bill in the Parliament will be tantamount to giving validity to the flawed bill, argues Ray.
He said the constitution amendment bill was not enough to address the concerns of the agitating forces. “The Nepali Congress had assured us multiple times in the past that they would revise the bill before tabling it in the Parliament but they did not fulfill their pledge.
Now if we join the parliamentary debate on the bill or if we move any amendment on the bill, they might not accept that and in that case, we would be giving validity to the bill,” Ray said.
He added that the three parties and Speaker Onsari Gharti Magar were continuing the debate on the constitution amendment bill in spite of the obstruction of the UDMF in the Parliament, reflecting their dictatorial attitude. “These parties bypassed us in
the constitution making process but they have not been able to implement the constitution. Now they are repeating the same mistake as far as the constitution amendment bill is concerned,” Ray added.
CPN-UML Secretary Pradip Gyawali said the major parties were open to change the language of the bill and try to address the concerns of the agitating parties but since the UDMF wanted to make their demands an election plank, they might not take part in the constitution amendment bill debate.
Gyawali said the UDMF made unrealistic demands which could not be addressed and hence the front might try to keep their agenda intact till the next general election.
“The UDMF did not sign the promulgation of the constitution and now if it does not take part in the constitution amendment bill, it will be difficult for the front to take ownership of the Constitution.
They should realise that this constitution will remain and only the amendments will address their demands,” Gyawali added.