Split Province 5 and break impasse: PMPrime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has floated a new proposal—creating an eighth province by splitting Province 5—to resolve the problems surrounding provincial boundaries.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has floated a new proposal—creating an eighth province by splitting Province 5—to resolve the problems surrounding provincial boundaries.
The proposal, according to PM Dahal’s Chief Political Adviser Chakrapani Khanal, aims to address the agitating parties’ demand that there should be at least two provinces—without hill districts—in the plains.
According to Khanal, Rolpa, Pyuthan, Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Palpa, Rukum and Baglung could be taken out of Province 5 to create Province 8. This will mean, Province 5 will have six districts—half of Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Banke and Bardiya. Currently, Province 5 has 13 districts which include a portion of Rukum, a portion of Baglung and a portion of Nawalparasi. A portion of Rukum is in Province 6 while half of the portions of Nawalparasi and Baglung are in Province 4. If Province 8 is created, it will have whole Rukum and Baglung districts. According to Khanal, Province 8 could be recognised as “Magarat Province” and the six-district Province 5 could be recognised as “Tharuwan Province”. This proposal could largely address the concerns raised by Madhesis, Tharus and Janajatis, said Khanal. Dinanath Sharma, former spokesperson for the Maoist Centre, also echoed Khanal, saying the demarcation row must be resolved even if an eighth province has to be created. Some Maoist leaders, however, have warned Dahal against tinkering with Province 5. So, before the new proposal gets the approval from other parties, including the main opposition, PM Dahal faces the challenge of convincing his own party men.