PM Deuba’s remarks on statute draw flakPrime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s remarks that he would try to amend the constitution again has drawn flak from top leaders, including from Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the chairman of coalition partner CPN (Maoist Centre).
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba’s remarks that he would try to amend the constitution again has drawn flak from top leaders, including from Pushpa Kamal Dahal, the chairman of coalition partner CPN (Maoist Centre).
Addressing a press meet in Surkhet on Friday, former Prime Minister Dahal took exception to remarks made by Deuba in New Delhi on Thursday. “Constitution amendment is internal matter of Nepal. Parliament has already settled it and therefore it was not necessary to raise the issue again,” said Dahal. “It was wrong to express commitment to amend the constitution in India when the amendment proposal has already rejected by Parliament.”
In a different context, Dahal assured that both the provincial and federal parliamentary elections would be held together on November 26. “Our party is ready for either option—holding these elections at one go or in two phases,” said Dahal, who was in Province 6 to attend a meeting with party’s local level leaders. He also asserted that the MC would not be defeated in those elections.
Chairman of the main opposition CPN-UML KP Oli was more critical of Deuba over the issue, saying that the PM’s out of sync statement ashamed the country.
“PM Deuba raised the issue of constitution’s acceptability out of context in a foreign land. Who was he trying to please by making such remarks?” Oli said, while talking to journalists at the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) before heading to Thailand for a regular health check-up on Friday.
“He took the oath of office and secrecy under the same constitution. He was elected the prime minister under the same constitution,” the UML chief added.
During a joint press conference at Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Thursday, PM Deuba had told his Indian counterpart that efforts to amend the constitution were underway.
PM Deuba had assured the Indian side that the constitution would be amended once Parliament has the required numbers to do so. “To address the demands of people living in the south, we had initiated the amendment process but we could not make it this time,” Deuba told the conference. “In order to make it broad based and to meet the demands of the people from the south, east and north, we will continue to push the amendments.”
The statement that the PM made going beyond the prepared speech puzzled Nepali officials. “There was no need to commit to constitution amendment as it had already failed and India is now concerned over implementation of the constitution rather than its amendment,” they said.
Earlier on Monday, the much-awaited constitution amendment bill, brought to address key demands of the agitating Madhes-centric parties, failed to muster the required two-thirds majority in the Legislature-Parliament. Out of 553 lawmakers, who were present in the Parliament, 347 lawmakers voted in favour of the bill, 48 short of the two-third majority required to pass the bill. There are 592 members in the House.