Nepal Constitution Amendment blocked

Nepal Constitution Amendment blocked

Kathmandu: Will the plains-hills dilemma in Nepal be resolved?  Nepal’s Opposition leader and former prime minister KP Sharma Oli  refused to let the Constitution Amendment Bill pass in the Parliament.(Jan 9), The Bill, aimed at addressing the demands of agitating ‘Madhesi’ (plainsmen of Indian (Bihari, UP) origin parties.

Talking to journalists at Biratnagar Airport in eastern Nepal, CPN-UML Chairman Oli stated that the government, by tabling the Constitution amendment bill in Parliament,had ignored the Supreme Court order which had noted that state boundaries could be reviewed without an approval from the Provincial Assemblies.

Oli said that the incumbent government was acting as if it did not understand court language.

He accused the Madhesi party leaders of speaking illegal and unconstitutional words and criticised them for making threats such as  they would not participate in the elections if the Constitution amendment bill was not passed.

Oli exuded confidence that the country would find a solution to the problem in coming few days in line with the parliamentary procedures.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” has claimed that the Constitution amendment bill was tabled in the Parliament with the consent of the main opposition CPN (UML).

The bill, which aims to accommodate the demands of the agitating Madhesi and ethnic groups that include citizenship and boundary demarcation issues among others, was tabled in the Parliament yesterday.

Talking to reporters in central Nepal’s Chitawan district, Prachanda said that the bill was forwarded after forging a consensus with UML chairman Oli.

He claimed that the Opposition was ready to forward the bill in an ‘agree to disagree’ modality, adding that it was an internationally practised modality and dismissed the notion that the bill was tabled forcibly.

The Prime Minister stressed on consensus among the political parties and said that serious discussions were held with Oli regarding this.

Re-drawing of the provincial boundary and the citizenship issue are the two major demands put forth by the Madhesis.

Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, launched a six-month- long agitation during Oli’s premiership, from September 2015 to February last year, in which more than 50 people were killed.

The agitation had also crippled the landlocked country’s economy as supplies from India were blocked.

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