KATHMANDU: A joint meeting of the three Madhes-based parties, which are an important ally in the Democratic Alliance, today expressed objection to the government’s decision to withdraw Vice President Paramananda Jha’s annuities.
The government on Friday had withdrawn Jha’s security cover and his privileges from his private residence after he failed to abide by the Supreme Court’s order to take fresh oath in Nepali. Jha had taken his oath of office in Hindi last year. In a six-point joint press statement, issued by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar, president, Madhesi Janadhikar Forum, Nepal (Democratic); Mahantha Thakur, president, Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party and Minister for Commerce and Supplies Rajendra Mahato, president, Sadbhavana Party, underscored the need to immediately amend the Interim Constitution, 2007, to resolve the controversy that broke out due to the oath row.
The leaders said that the government’s move to withdraw the facilities enjoyed by the Vice President was “objectionable and unjustifiable”.
DPM Gachhadar said no discussion was held in the Cabinet about the withdrawal
of Jha’s facility and security cover. “It was a unilateral move of the Home Ministry,” he
revealed.
“We urge all the parties, including the UCPN-Maoist, to amend the Interim Constitution, 2007, to ensure that both the president and vice president can take oath in his/her mother tongue,” said the joint statement.
“Although, we fully support the coalition, we’re not ready to compromise over the Madhesi causes,” Mahato said at a press conference that was held at his parliamentary party office.
The statement also
cautioned the government that the special security strategy being worked out by the Home Ministry should not be
misused against the Madhes and Madhesi community.
The Madhesi leaders also called for the formation of a high-level monitoring committee to oversee implementation of the eight-point agreement reached between the then government and then Joint Democratic Madhesi Front on February 28, 2008.
On his party’s seven lawmakers withdrawing support to the government on Saturday, Gachhadar said it did not reflect the party’s official view.
“The Madhes-based parties, had played a leading role in building a Democratic Alliance. We’ll be a decisive force to build a new political equation in the future. Hence, our concerns should be paid due heed,” said DPM Gachhadar.
The Madhesi parties also
objected to the Judicial Council’s decision to appoint 74 judges in appellate and
districts courts.
The leaders termed the move “biased and against the principle of inclusiveness”.