Yadav, Bhattarai for revising amendment bill

Kathmandu, January 9

Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Chair Upendra Yadav and Coordinator of Naya Shakti Nepal Baburam Bhattarai demanded passage of a revised constitution amendment bill.

Addressing an interaction organised by Nepal Confederation of Intellectual Professionals here today, Yadav said political forces would not be able to solve the country’s problems if they failed to pass a revised constitution amendment bill.

Yadav demanded that revision should be made in the bill as per the demands of the Federal Alliance and the Untied Democratic Madhesi Front.

Former Prime Minister Bhattarai said he signed the constitution just because he wanted to frame a new constitution from the Constituent Assembly but he had been saying that this constitution was not complete and needed to be amended.

Bhattarai said 10 provinces would satisfy the agitating forces but if that was not possible then Madhesi-dominated areas of Morang and Sunsari should be incorporated into Province 2 and Tharu-dominated areas of Kailali district should be incorporated into another Tarai province.

Former Vice-president of Nepal Bar Association Surendra Kumar Mahto said the Parliament was not constrained by any constitutional provision from amending the constitution to revise provincial boundaries as the constitutional provisions of Article 295 accepted that the boundary question had not been resolved yet.

He said Article 274 (4) which states that the revision of provincial boundaries could be done only with the consent of the concerned provincial assembly would apply only when the boundary question was settled. “If efforts to amend the constitution are stalled on any technical ground, the situation might take a turn for the worse,” he warned.

Those who say that no constitution has been promulgated with cent per cent consensus, should also know that a new constitution has never been promulgated amid widespread protests and state repression that resulted in killings of protesters, Mahto said.

Advocate Dipendra Jha said the constitution was promulgated arbitrarily by the major parties repressing the Madhesis and the constitution amendment bill was not enough to meet the demands of the agitating Madhesi forces.

On the question of five districts Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur he argued that terms of reference for the federal commission should clearly state that resolution would be sought on the basis of the 22-point and eight-point agreements, as well as the report of the erstwhile State Restructuring Commission.

Nepal’s former ambassador to Denmark Vijay Kant Karna said since this constitution attempted to impose Pahadis’ rule over Madhes, it could not serve the interests of the people. Karna said the agitating forces needed to create a storm of protest to achieve their goals.

Columnist CK Lal said amendment would not bring desired results for Madhesis but any forward movement should be welcomed.