Kathmandu, April 8

Chief ministers of six provinces that are yet to be named have said they will name them only after dealing with other pressing issues, including the government’s policies and programmes, the fiscal budget and provincial  laws.

Of the seven provinces, only Province 6 Provincial Assembly has settled the issue and named the province Karnali.

Chief Minister of Province 3 Dormani Paudel said he would make efforts to name the province only after three months. “We are busy with the process of formulating provincial government’s policies and programmes, the fiscal budget and enacting urgent key laws,” he told THT over phone from Hetauda.

Paudel said naming of the province could witness fierce political rivalry and   lobbying and could also lead to  street  protests. “If we begin the process now, people may start burning tyres on the streets,” Paudel said. He added that he would like Province 3 to be called Rajdhani Pradesh.

“But this  is only my personal view. Ultimately the Provincial Assembly will take a call on the issue,” he added. He said nobody had demanded the naming of Province 3 in the Provincial Assembly.

“I am in favour of naming the province on the basis of consensus but if anybody opposes such an effort then the issue will be put to vote in the  assembly,” he added.

Chief Minister of Province 7 Trilochan Bhatta said, “I have no fixed timeline to name the province, but once the provincial government brings new budget and the provincial assembly passes key laws, I will deal with it,” he said. He added that if necessary the issue would be put to vote in the PA.

Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel said naming of the province was not yet on the Provincial Assembly’s agenda. “We  want to first get the things we are entitled to  from the federal government. Once we do that we’ll deal with the nomenclature issue,” he said. He added that he would try to settle the issue on the basis of consensus.

Province 4 Chief Minister Prithvi Subba Gurung said a committee in the PA had already been formed to work on naming the province. “It has decided to settle the issue within a month after interacting with stakeholders,” he added.

Province 1 Chief Minister Sherdhan Rai said the PA would settle the issue within two months after consulting stakeholders within and outside the PA. “I’ll try to settle the issue on the basis of consensus,” he said, adding that the issue would be put to vote, if necessary.

Regarding permanent headquarters of provinces, chief ministers said the PA could change provisional headquarters of any province only after mustering two-thirds majority in the concerned PA.

Only Province 6 named Birendranagar of Surkhet as its provincial capital on February 24.   Province 4 CM Prithvi Subba Gurung said there was no dispute about the headquarters of the province. “Pokhara will be the permanent headquarters of the province,” he said.