Show statesmanship

It is high time that the leaders displayed their statesmanship by convincing the people that the decisions they have taken are in the best interest of the nation

The people in the mid and far-western regions are agitating over the delineations of boundaries of the federal units. They have taken to the streets after the Special Committee of the Constitutional Political-Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) reached an agreement on restructuring the state into six-federal units on August 8. A large part of the country has not witnessed major protests except in Kailali district and Karnali Zone, where the people have demanded that the zone, which occupies 26 per cent territory of the country, be made a separate Pradesh for overall prosperity. The Tharus in Kailali district are especially opposed to the Special Committee’s decision to keep it in the Pradesh No-6. They want to be included in the Pradesh No-5 where the entire Tarai districts from Nawalparasi in the east to Kanchanpur in the west have been included along with some hill districts of Lumbini, Rapti and Bheri Zones. It has been nine days since the Tharus in the district have resorted to general strikes demanding that the district be not included in  Pradesh No-6.

When the people, without the political backing of major political parties, started raising spontaneous voices against the delineation of the boundaries of the federal units top leaders of the major political parties who reached the 16-point agreement on June 8 are under pressure to resolve the crisis to the best satisfaction of the agitating people. Apart from resolving the issues of boundaries of some Pradeshes, the top leaders, who represent the Special Committee, are also required to find an agreement on the issues of secularism, reappointment of constitutional bodies and Supreme Court judges and a certain percentage of threshold required for the representation under the proportional representation system in the federal parliament and Pradesh Assembly. These are the issues that the Special Committee has to settle by Monday, the deadline given to the Constitution Drafting Committee, which has been tasked with preparing the final draft of the constitution.

Four persons have already lost their lives and normal life in the mid and far-western regions has been paralysed due to continued bandhs. Top leaders of the major parties have made public appeals to the agitators to call off such agitations and sit for talks to find a solution to their demands. But there is no sign of the agitation being abated. Some of the influential leaders of the ruling parties who represent the far-western and eastern regions have been accused of giving more preference to their areas than the  nation. The Special Committee of the CPDCC cannot afford to waste more time in addressing the issues of delineation in the far and mid-western regions. The CDC will not be able to prepare the final draft of the constitution and table it in the CA full house within the deadline unless the Special Committee finds an amicable settlement of the key issues mentioned. The Special Committee must give due attention to the voices raised by the people. It is high time that the leaders displayed their statesmanship by convincing the people that the decisions they have taken are in the best interest of the nation.

Fake student IDs

Students are provided 45 per cent discount in the fare when they commute by public transport. No doubt, this facility is welcome since most of the students do not have jobs or other means of earning. However, a matter of concern is the use of fake IDs mainly by middle-aged people who obviously are not students. Many of the bus conductors are children who are illiterate. The conductors are often scared to argue with the passengers who behave rudely. The discount means a huge loss for the public transporters who find it hard to verify if the ID cards are genuine. They would otherwise be earning about Rs. 4000 when they could be making Rs. 7000 per day without the discounts, say the transporters.

The provision for fare discounts for students is indeed welcome. But when some people try to use fake cards it is a huge loss for the transporters.

So far, only a few who show fake ID cards have been punished. Therefore, there is a dire need to examine the cards carefully to see if they are genuine or fake. This would help ensure that the discounts are not being abused.

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