January 15, 2018 08:38 AM NPT
Dil Bahadur Chhatyal/Republica Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba inaugurates the Makar Fair at Godavaridham in Kailali on Sunday.
KATHMANDU, Jan 15: After the failure to forge consensus with political parties outside the government, the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government has decided to nominate provincial governors and temporary provincial headquarters in consultation with its coalition partners.
Inaugurating the Makar Fair in Godavaridham in Kailali on Sunday, Prime Minister Deuba said the government will announce the names of provincial governors and temporary provincial headquarters within the next three days. “Appointing the provincial governors and declaring the temporary provincial headquarters has been delayed because the government tried to forge consensus with all political parties. Now, irrespective of the consensus among the parties, the government shall appoint the provincial governors and fix temporary provincial headquarters within the next three days,” he said.
Prime Minister Deuba said the provincial assemblies shall decide their capitals with a two-thirds majority later. “Now, we will only declare the temporary provincial headquarters,” he said.
“For now, the places with the necessary infrastructures shall be declared the temporary headquarters.”
Leaders close to Prime Minister Deuba said the government will take decisions to this effect in the next cabinet meeting after their bid for consensus with CPN-UML and CPN (Maoist Center) failed to materialize. “Initially, Maoist Center leaders had proposed appointing the governors and fixing the temporary provincial headquarters through a consensus among the major political parties. But the UML did not agree to this. The government will now take a decision in consultation with its coalition partners,” said a leader, asking not to be named.
The government is currently under pressure to appoint the provincial governors and decide the venues for the meetings of the provincial assemblies in all the seven province as the Election Commission (EC) has asked the government to do so within January 21. Although the government was preparing to announce the names of provincial governors during the last cabinet meeting held on Friday, lack of preparation to declare the temporary provincial headquarters and possible protests in different parts of the country made it to shelve its plan, according to sources close to the prime minister.
According to Prime Minister Deuba’s personal secretary Keshab Raj Joshi, the government is currently making necessary homework to declare temporary provincial headquarters. “Although the cabinet can only declare temporary provincial headquarters, the prime minister is worried about the possibility of these decisions hurting the sentiment of any group of people. He does not want to hurt the sentiment of any group of people,” said Joshi.
The government has decided to declare the temporary provincial capitals in places where the high courts have been set up as per the new constitution. Although there is no problem in declaring the provincial headquarters of other provinces, there are serious disputes in declaring the provincial headquarters of Province 5 and Province 7.
While senior leaders across parties are divided between declaring Butwal and Dang as the temporary headquarters of Province 5, there is a serious dispute about declaring Dipayal or Dhangadhi as the headquarters of Province 7. The government has come under pressure after the EC set up its offices in Dang and Dipayal for the National Assembly election, as Prime Minister Deuba, according to sources, is wary of hurting the sentiment of Tharu population.
Speaking at Godavaridham, Prime Minister Deuba also said that the failure of parties to finalize the candidate with majority support in parliament has made him unable to hand over power.