UML threatens agitation against amendment bill

Kathmandu, November 25

At a time when the government is preparing to table the constitution amendment bill at the Parliament, the CPN-UML has warned of launching a strong protest on the streets and in the Parliament against the bill.

The Standing Committee meeting of the main opposition party held today at Chairman KP Sharma Oli’s residence took a decision to this effect.

The UML issued a press release after the meeting, saying the government’s effort to amend the constitution was unnecessary, unreasonable and harmful. The principal opposition said the government’s effort to move the constitution amendment bill was designed to create fissures between parties and create serious conflict in society.

The party also warned the government against proceeding with the constitution amendment bill and if the government moved ahead with the bill without the consent of the party, it would seriously counter the government’s move.

The UML also called on the parties and the public to stand against “the government’s attempt to infringe on national interest, unity, indivisibility of the nation and social harmony.” The party also said there was no need for bringing a supplementary budget.

“The Parliament is neither a Constituent Assembly nor a Federal Assembly,” the UML reminded. “The duty of this government is to hold elections and end the transition as soon as possible.”

The UML said instead of announcing the election dates, the government was focusing on tabling the amendment bill to appease outsiders. The UML also warned the government and the ruling parties to be prepared to face strong protest in the House and on the streets.

The UML said separating hills from the Tarai was not acceptable to his party as it was against the will of the people.

Meanwhile, UML lawmaker Shatrughan Mahato said the boundaries of Province 2 should be revised if the government changed the boundaries of other provinces and some areas of Makwanpur, Udayapur and Sindhuli district should be included in that province.

Mahato said he had asked his party leaders to be flexible. “This is my personal view but I will follow the party’s official decision,” he added. He said the UML’s Madhesi lawmakers would make their official view on constitution amendment after the meeting of the party’s representatives from Province 2 scheduled for November 29.

He also said that the issues of naturalised citizenship were not the agenda of Madhesi people.

He said genuine Madhesis, who were deprived of citizenship, should not be barred from their rights. Mahato demanded that the government investigate whether non-citizens exploited the loopholes and obtained citizenship in 2007.

He further said the current debate on constitution amendment was wrong as the ruling parties were pitting people against each other in places where they have not asked for revision of boundaries.