Addressing concerns of all parties on amendment a challenge: Mukherjee

Published On: November 3, 2016 01:35 AM NPT By: Ashok Dahal  | @ashokpillar

-Mukherjee congratulates President Bhandari, Nepali people and CA for launching of new constitution
-PM Dahal informs Indian Prez about initiatives toward amending constitution
-Mukherjee invites Bhandari for India visit
-VP Pun underscored enhanced cooperation in hydropower, connectivity, waterways

KATHMANDU, Nov 3: Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, who is on a three-day state visit to Nepal, has said that addressing the concerns of all the political parties while amending a constitution is in itself a challenging task.

Mukherjee said that addressing the aspirations of all the political sides becomes challenging in a country where a large number of political parties are represented in parliament.

Mukherjee, who went to the President's Office at Sheetal Niwas straight from the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), said this during a bilateral meeting with President Bidyadevi Bhandari at the latter's office Wednesday. He congratulated Nepali leadership for their success in promulgating and implementing a new constitution, said a minister present at the meeting with the two heads of state.

"The Indian president first congratulated Nepal for achieving an important success in writing the new constitution through the Constituent Assembly and bringing it into implementation, ending the decade-long insurgency in the country," Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Jeeban Bahadur Shahi told Republica.

Mukherjee recalled that India too had to go through difficult times while implementing its new constitution decades ago even as there were fewer political parties in India than now in Nepal. He said that accommodating aspirations of all sides can be challenging when there are a large number of political parties represented in parliament. "He said that a constitution should be amended as per the aspirations of maximum number of political parties but it becomes challenging when the number of political parties is large," Minister Shahi quoted the Indian president as saying during the meeting with his counterpart Bhandari.

The two presidents shared that the exchange of high-level visits, intensified in recent times, as well as increased engagements between the two countries at the highest level of leadership would nurter the friendly relations further, read a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Wednesday.

"The President of India congratulated the President of Nepal, Nepali people and the Constituent Assembly for the launching of the constitution last year and its subsequent amendment," it said.

According to Bharat Paudyal, spokesperson at MOFA, Mukherjee invited his Nepali counterpart Bhandari for an India visit. "In response, President Bhandari expressed her keen interest to visit India in near future," said Paudyal.

During the meeting, Indian President Mukherjee emphasized on deepening people to people relations between Nepal and India. "There was people to people and cultural relations between Nepal and India even before the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries," officials present at the meeting quoted Mukherjee as saying.

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal paid a courtesy call on the president of India and informed him about the initiatives taken toward amending the constitution. "The prime minister informed him about the initiatives to accommodate all sides on board while making amendments to the constitution," said Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat.

According to Mahat, they also discussed executing the joint projects in an effective way so that the progress could be realized at the public level as well.

Also, Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun paid a courtesy call on the Indian president. "Vice President underscored the need of enhanced cooperation between the two countries in the areas of hydropower, connectivity and waterways," stated the ministry in the statement.

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