Statute Amendment: PM says new proposal will be acceptable to allPrime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal says he has prepared a new proposal on constitution amendment, which he claims will be acceptable to all the parties, including the agitating Madhesi Morcha and the main opposition CPN-UML.
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal says he has prepared a new proposal on constitution amendment, which he claims will be acceptable to all the parties, including the agitating Madhesi Morcha and the main opposition CPN-UML.
Addressing a programme in the Capital on Saturday, PM Dahal said his proposal would bring all the parties together and that the Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, would participate in local level elections slated for May 14.
Minister for Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Ajay Shanker Nayak told the Post that the new amendment proposal the government has prepared seeks to revoke Article 295 (1) and insert the provision of forming a federal commission in Article 274.
Article 295 (1) of the constitution says: The government may constitute a federal commission for making suggestions on matters relating to the boundaries of states. Article 274 is related to the amendment of the constitution as well as alteration of the borders of state among others.
The PM’s proposal, according to the minister, also seeks to amend Article 86 (2) and “correct the mistakes” in Article 215.
“If everything goes as planned, Sunday’s Cabinet meeting will most likely finalise the amendments,” said Minister Nayak.
According to Maoist Centre Spokesperson Pamhpa Bhusal, the new amendment proposal will address the demands of the Madhesi Morcha as it tries to incorporate most of the issues raised by them.
“The Cabinet will also take a decision on increasing the number of local units in 11 districts of Province 2 and Province 5,” said Bhusal.
In a bid to break the political deadlock, PM Dahal on Friday met UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba.
The UML has been objecting to the constitution amendment bill tabled in Parliament on January 8, saying that it is against national interest, as it seeks to split Province 5.
With the new proposal, the government has hinted that it will not tweak the federal boundaries and would rather seek to amend Article 274 to ease the process of creating new province(s) or changing the boundaries of existing provinces.
Pressure was mounting of late on PM Dahal with the Morcha objecting to local level elections and vowing to disrupt them while the UML opposing an amendment to the constitution which tries to change the federal boundaries.
When asked about the development, Rastriya Madhes Samajbadi Party General Secretary Keshav Jha said PM Dahal’s statement on Saturday about a new constitution amendment proposal “is encouraging but the Morcha leaders first want to see how the government takes the issue forward”.
“We have to wait for Sunday’s Cabinet meeting,” said Jha, indicating that the Morcha leaders are waiting to see whether the government forms a federal commission to address the outstanding issues in a time-bound manner.