KATHMANDU, April 10: The cabinet meeting on Monday decided to withdraw the constitution amendment bill from the parliament and register a new bill on Tuesday to amend eight provisions of the new constitution with a view to address various demands of the agitating Madhesh-based political parties and bring them on board the local polls.
“The government will first withdraw the existing amendment bill from the parliament and register the new bill to replace it tomorrow [Tuesday],” Law Minister Ajay Shankar Nayak told Republica. “This decision has been taken as per the discussions with the leaders from United Democratic Madhesi Front.”
In the new amendment bill, the government has proposed to form a new commission and entrust it with the responsibility of settling the disputes related to provincial delineation.
“The commission will work as per the Terms of Reference (ToR) defined by the government and submit its report at the earliest,” said Minister for Women and Children Kumar Khadka.
According to him, the new bill has proposed to remove chiefs and deputy chiefs of municipalities and rural municipalities from the Electoral College to elect National Assembly members.
Similarly, the new bill will amend the existing Article 274 of the constitution that has made it mandatory to seek consent of the concerned provincial assembly before making any changes in the boundary of the respective province.
Once the proposed bill is approved, the federal parliament can change the boundary of any province without approval from the respective province.
The new amendment bill however has made no changes on the provision related to language and citizenship issue proposed in the existing bill.
government had registered a seven-point amendment bill in parliament on November 29 to address the demands of the Madhes-based parties. The bill proposed to remove all hill districts (ie Palpa, Gulmi, Arghakhanchi, Rukum, Rolpa and Pyuthan) from Province-5 to ensure that it included only the districts of the plains stretching from Nawalparasi in the east to Bardiya in the west. The decision to remove the hill districts from Province-5 has been put on hold for now.