KATHMANDU, Aug 29: Deputy Prime Minister Bimalendra Nidhi has assured the leaders of Madhes-based parties that the constitution amendment proposal will be registered at Parliament prior to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal's visit to India.
During a meeting with Madhesi leaders on Sunday, DPM Nidhi said the PM has been holding political consultations to register a constitution amendment proposal before he visits India.
United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF), the alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, had expressed dissatisfaction last week over delay in starting the process of constitution amendment. The Madhesi leaders on Sunday met DPM Nidhi, who had played a crucial role in forging the three-point agreement between the CPN (Maoist Center), the Nepali Congress (NC) and the Federal Alliance while electing Dahal as prime minister. They expressed their concern regarding the agreement.
"The DPM assured us that the constitution amendment proposal will be registered at Parliament soon through a political consensus," said Manish Suman, general secretary of Sadbhavana Party.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Dahal and Sadbhavana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato held a separate meeting on Sunday. On the occasion, Dahal said that he will work together with the Madhes-based parties to reach a consensus soon on their demands relating to the Constitution.
"I urged the PM to immediately start discussions between the government and the Madhes-based parties in order to finalize the amendment proposal. I told him that further delay could lead to a crisis of confidence between the government and Madhes-based parties," Mahato told Republica.
"The PM, in his reply, said that he will soon start discussions with Madhesi leaders on how to settle all the issues related to the Constitution, including provincial delineations and citizenship," Mahato added.
The three-point agreement included a clause that issues related to the Constitution, including the number and delineation of provinces, would be resolved through constitutioanl amendment based on consensus among the political parties.
Likewise, the agreement also included a clause that the new cabinet would declare those killed during the Madhes movement as martyrs, provide due compensation and free treatment to the injured and withdraw false cases leveled against UDMF cadres.
According to Suman, DPM Nidhi also informed the Madhesi leaders that the government has been studying the possibility of withdrawing court cases against cadres of Madhes-based parties who were charge-sheeted during the Madhes movement last year.
"The DPM, who is also home minister, further informed us that he was discussing the issue this week with the attorney general and other authorities concerned," said Suman.
According to Suman, DPM Nidhi said that the judicial probe commission formed to investigate vandalism and killings during the Madhes movement would take full shape soon. "He said the probe commission could not take full shape so far only because of his visit to India," added Suman.
A meeting of the Council of Ministers had formed the commission under former justice Girish Chandra Lal.