KATHMANDU, August 28: Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba has defended the remarks he made in India that the ruling parties would again introduce fresh constitution amendment bill in parliament to accommodate the concerns of all groups of people.
Talking to media persons at the Tribhuvan International Airport after his return from India on Sunday evening, Prime Minister Deuba said that his remarks had in no way harmed the dignity of the country. “Amendment to the constitution is not possible without the participation of UML. All I meant was that we will amend the constitution by accommodating all groups,” he said.
Arguing that there is no point in criticizing his remarks, Prime Minister Deuba challenged the opposition parties to formulate a code of conduct if necessary to draw restrictions on what to speak and what not during foreign visits.
“The constitution amendment bill was introduced by the government. Failure to endorse the amendment bill does not mean it was a wrong proposal. This bill can be introduced again [once we have two-thirds majority in parliament],” he said.
Addressing a joint press conference held after the bilateral meeting between Nepal and India at Hyderabad House, New Delhi on Thursday, Prime Minister Deuba gave the assurance to Indian leaders as the attempt to amend the constitution earlier this week did not succeed. “We tried to amend the constitution to make it acceptable to all sides. But we could not secure two-thirds majority vote in parliament,” he said.
“I hope in future we will have two-thirds majority and we will amend the constitution so that people living in the southern part and those living in the east and west accept it as their constitution.”
Opposition parties had criticized the prime minister for the remarks. UML Chairman Oli said that Deuba’s remarks had mocked the decision made by the Nepali parliament.
Prime Minister Deuba said the visit had helped boost bilateral relations between the two countries through deepening cooperation in economic as well as other sectors.
Deuba had left for New Delhi on August 23 on a five-day visit to India at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi. During his stay in India, Prime Minister Deuba paid separate calls on Indian President Shri Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
He held official bilateral meeting with his Indian counterpart Modi. Nepal and India reached eight Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs), four of them relating to post-quake reconstruction works.