Parties agree to expedite constitution amendmentAfter holding differing views on the composition of the government talks team for weeks, six major parties have agreed to hold parallel negotiations with the agitating Madhes-based parties in order to find common ground on disputes.
After holding differing views on the composition of the government talks team for weeks, six major parties have agreed to hold parallel negotiations with the agitating Madhes-based parties in order to find common ground on disputes.
In a meeting held at Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s official residence in Baluwatar on Monday, the ruling parties and the opposition Nepali Congress agreed to move the constitution amendment bill after consultation with the agitating forces.
In response to the Madhesi protest, the erstwhile Sushil Koirala government in its final days had registered two amendment proposals in the Parliament Secretariat.
The six parties decided to hold talks with the protesting parties particularly on the issue of state delineation and reach a conclusion. The Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led high-level team will also hold talks with the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha in a couple of days, said
The Dahal-led team and the largest party, NC, will separately talk to leaders from the Madhesi Morcha. A decision on constitution amendment will follow consultation with the protesting parties, said Bishnu Rimal, political adviser to PM Oli.
The NC stressed in the meeting that approving the two amendment bills would lead to a solution to the Tarai problem. “We believe that passage of the amendment proposals will create an environment for bringing the Madhesi parties on board,” said NC spokesperson Dilendra Badu. “Our party is ready to take a lead on it.”
Prime Minister Oli urged the NC leadership to convince the Madhesi leaders on the two amendments, according to leaders.
NC seeks TMLP support on amendments
The Nepali Congress has urged the Madhes-based parties to play a constructive role in advancing the two constitution amendment proposals registered in Parliament. The largest party also proposed to settle the state demarcation row later.
During a meeting with Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur on Monday, NC General Secretary Prakash Man Singh and leader Dilendra Badu urged the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha to consider the proposal in view of the public hardship caused by months of shutdown.
However, Thakur insisted that a deal on federalism was necessary to end the Tarai agitation. He asked the NC to make its position clear on federalism and take initiatives in addressing the crisis.
“I told them that we would make our views clear after reading the registered proposal. But I also clarified that the protests won’t stop without an agreement on federalism,” said Thakur.
“Protesters on the ground won’t accept any agreement without finalising the boundaries. So it would be prudent to resolve the demarcation row amicably.”
During the two-hour meeting at Thakur’s residence in Thimi, NC leaders said they were unhappy with the government’s approach of repressing the protests. Later in the day, the largest
party also issued a statement condemning the killing of people in Saptari and demanded an investigation. “He [Thakur] expressed his displeasure at the way the government is handling the situation. He stressed that they were also for a prompt agreement,” said Badu.
The proposals registered by the Congress-led government are on ensuring inclusive
and proportional representation of Madhesi communities in all state bodies and
delimitation of electoral constituencies with priority for population.
Thakur said the recent activities of the government had raised doubts about its intention. He added that the government had not fulfilled the Morcha’s basic demands including withdrawal of security forces from the ground.