December 5, 2016 12:10 AM NPT
Lawmaker Anuradha Thapa of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party speaks in parliament on Sunday before the obstruction of the House meeting for the third consecutive day to protest against the constitution amendment bill registered by government at parliament. Photo: Dipesh Shrestha/Republica
Parliament obstructed for third consecutive day
KATHMANDU, Dec 5: Opposition lawmakers have claimed that the government registered the constitution amendment bill in Parliament at the behest of India.
The opposition parties obstructed the meeting of Parliament for the third consecutive time on Sunday, demanding the withdrawal of the amendment bill, which proposes reviewing the province boundaries, the citizenship provisions and the criteria for representation in the National Assembly.
“It will be treachery if the constitution, which was promulgated with the backing of 90 percent of people's representatives, is amended on the instructions of any foreign country,” said Nepal Workers Peasants Party (NWPP) lawmaker Anuradha Thapa Magar while speaking at the House, Sunday.
Lawmakers from opposition parties, including the CPN-UML, CPN (ML), NWPP, Rartriya Janamorcha and Nepa Party, stood up at their respective places and obstructed House proceedings right after Speaker Onsari Gharti announced commencement of the meeting.
As Speaker Gharti allowed the opposition parties to put forth their demands, NWPP lawmaker Thapa Magar argued that the amendment proposal follows the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) plan of merging Nepal into India. RAW is the.Indian Secret Service Agency.
Referring to the book 'Mission R&AW' written by former RAW officer RK Yadav, lawmaker Thapa Magar claimed that the amendment bill was a step toward splitting the tarai away from Nepal as part of the RAW plan. “If this proposal is endorsed it will result in the risk of foreign nationals having a majority in the government and parliament of Nepal, thus paving the way for merging the country with India in the same manner that Sikkim was merged,” said Thapa Magar.
She further expressed her objections to the recent activities of Indian ambassador Ranjit Rae. The Indian envoy had summoned top leaders of the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) on Saturday and urged them to support the government's constitution amendment bill.
Thapa Magar claimed that former RAW chief Alok Joshi has been in Kathmandu since 15 days back to press the political parties to endorse the bill. She claimed that the unification of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party (RPP) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal (RPP-N) was designed by Joshi, adding that he was plotting to bring about a split in the UML.
RPP lawmaker Sushil Kumar Shrestha objected to Thapa Magar's statement, calling it a false allegation. He demanded that the Speaker erase the statement from House records.
All the RPP parliamentarians then stood up to protest Thapa Magar's allegations.
Thapa Magar was quick to defend herself, arguing that she had quoted news stories in an online news portal. Speaker Onsari Gharti then instructed the parliament secretariat to delete the lawmaker's statement.
Thapa Magar further claimed that Article 274(1) of the Constitution bars any constitutional amendment that is against the national interest and national sovereignty. Following the obstruction by lawmakers, the meeting was deferred till Wednesday afternoon.