NC leaders for putting amendment bill to voteA majority of the Nepali Congress Central Working Committee leaders have urged the party leadership to put the constitution amendment proposal to a vote in Parliament ahead of the third phase of local level elections whether or not the bill is endorsed.
At the ongoing CWC meeting of the ruling party, which is scheduled to conclude on Monday, leaders continued their debate over the party’s second position in the two rounds of local polls. According to a central leader, most of the CWC members clearly pressed the party leadership to decide the fate of the bill in Parliament before the local polls are held in Province 2 on September 18.
The agitating Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal boycotted the two rounds of local polls demanding constitutional amendments to address their demands. The constitution amendment process initiated by the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government remains inconclusive even after the Congress-Maoist coalition elected Sher Bahadur Deuba as the PM.
A meeting of the NC leaders representing eight Tarai districts urged the party brass on Friday to conclude the amendment process. The decision of the party’s Province 2 gathering, which was called to devise a strategy for the next round of local polls, was read out in Sunday’s CWC meeting. The meeting unequivocally urged the party leadership to opt for voting on the bill instead of putting it off under the RJP-N’s pressure.
The NC is competing with the RJP-N in Province 2, the leaders said. In that case, the Madhes-based party could attack the NC during the polls for the failure to amend the constitution. They suggested that such chances could be eliminated by ending the uncertainty over the amendment bill.
In case the bill was defeated, the CPN-UML could be blamed for standing against it, the decision reads, assessing that the Congress would gain in the third-phase polls by clearing the confusion among the people about the lingering amendment process.
“Amending the constitution is the NC’s agenda too, which needs to be cleared. The country should not be held hostage to a single issue,” a leader quoted the provincial meet’s decision.
Most of those who spoke on Sunday blamed the Congress leadership for the party’s position behind the UML in the local elections in six provinces overall. They charged that the top leaders made a series of mistakes since the constitution was promulgated in 2015.
Presenting his analysis of the poll statistics, CWC member Minendra Rijal said it was the party’s “psychological defeat”, rather than actual loss on the ground. He particularly urged party President Deuba and senior leader Ram Chandra Poudel to seriously study the results. He warned that the duo’s continued failure would prompt the party seek an alternative leadership.
According to CWC member Ramesh Lekhak, the meeting, as pressed by several leaders, is likely to form a five-member discipline committee.Central leader Badri Pandey called for an overhaul of the party organisation and action against the poll spoilers within.
CWC member Shyam Ghimire observed that the NC’s weak position on nationalism and the UML’s stance against the impeachment motion filed against the chief justice were the major causes of the UML’s victory.
- If the constitution amendment process is carried on further, the RJP-N will make it an issue during the local polls in Province 2 in a way to chip away at NC’s vote
- Put to a vote in Parliament, even if the bill is defeated, the UML can be blamed for standing against amendments