KATHMANDU, Nov 7: The commission formed to restructure the local units has decided to ask the government to help solicit support from the Madhes-based political parties in the task of delineating local units under the new federal system.
However, the commission has maintained that it won't stop its work and submit its report based on whatever information it gets to the government even if the Madhes-based parties do not cooperate in the restructuring task by the end of Kartik (mid-November), the deadline given by the prime minister to the commission to submit its report to the government.
Due to noncooperation from the Madhes-based parties, the district bodies of the commission in the eight districts of Province No. 2 were not able to hold decisive consultations on finalizing the number of local units, let alone preparing their reports even though the deadline to submit their report to the commission expired on Saturday.
"Since local leaders from Madhes-based political parties have not been cooperating with the district bodies of the commission for finalizing the number of local units to be created in each of the eight districts of Province No. 2, we have decided to ask the government to take initiatives to involve the Madhesi parties in the restructuring process," said Sunil Ranjan Singh, a member of the commission, who is also in-charge of Province No. 2 of the commission.
He said the Madhesi leaders in the eight districts have been arguing that they will participate in the local restructuring task only after ongoing dispute over the provincial demarcation is settled.
He said that the commission will wait till mid-November if the Madhesi parties become ready to cooperate in the restructuring task.
Balananda Poudel, chairman of the commission, said that the commission is making preparations to formally request the government to help seek support from Madhesi leaders in the last resort, with the aim of forging political consensus as far as possible in the restructuring task.
"But if the Madhesi parties do not cooperate even after the government's request, we will ask our district bodies in Province No. 2 to prepare their report based on the standards set by the commission for the local units restructuring," he added.
He said that the commission will hold talks with its members soon and ask the government formally for its help.
Only 29 districts have so far submitted their reports to the commission by Sunday even though all the districts were asked to do so by November 5. "So, we have asked the remaining districts to submit their reports as soon as possible. We will wait till mid-November as works were hampered by festivals. Many of the districts have informed us that they will submit their reports within the next two days," he added.
Around 60 districts had earlier submitted their reports to the commission. But after the government asked the commission to make Ilakas as one of the basis of the local restructuring, the commission had asked the district bodies to revise their reports and resubmit it. However, if revised reports are not submitted to the commission on time, the commission has stated that it would finalize the number of local units on the basis of previous reports.
The commission has asked all the 75 district bodies to finalize the number of local units between 507 and 744.