Bhattarai for state delineation before constitution promulgationSenior UCPN (Maoist) leader Baburam Bhattarai said on Tuesday that new constitution should be promulgated only after fixing the delineation of eight federal provinces.
Bhattarai, who is also Chairman of Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee, said the parties should rethink the previous agreement on demarcation of federal units. Four major parties had agreed to demarcate the proposed federal units by the transformed Parliament after the promulgation of constitution on the basis of report submitted by federal commission. According to the interim constitution, Constituent Assembly (CA) will dissolve automatically after the promulgation of new constitution.
Talking to The Kathmandu Post, Bhattarai said the 16-point agreement laid the foundation for preparing the preliminary draft of constitution which is an achievement but tentative demarcation of federal units should be fixed right now.
Bhattarai informed that his party has put forth this proposal before Nepali Congress and CPN-UML and that has been receiving positive response. "We should sketch out tentative boundaries which could be finalised through a commission later," Bhattarai said, adding his party is open to hold discussions on any alternative including seven-province model jointly floated by NC and UML. "We were in favor of finalising the border of federal units till the last minute before singing the 16-point agreement but we failed to convince the ruling parties."
He opined that demarcation of federal units could be done within the next one month and it is not necessary to buy additional time for the same purpose. Four Madhes-based parties are boycotting CA deliberations on the draft constitution, demanding that the new constitution should be promulgated only after finalising the demarcation of federal states.
On the other hand, the Supreme Court has issued an interim stay order against the implementation of 16-point deal, stating that demarcation of federal units should be settled through CA according to the Interim Constitution. "We will do something concrete to settle the demarcation before promulgating the constitution," Bhattarai said.
He claimed that no political parties can sabotage federal agendas. The political parties are considering amending Article 138 of the Interim Constitution that says the delineation of federal provinces, their number and names should be decided by the CA before its dissolution. As per the current provision, the CA will dissolve after the promulgation of new constitution and issues related to demarcation are dealt by the transformed Parliament.