Govt begins amendment discussions with Madhes parties

Published On: January 5, 2019 03:05 AM NPT By: Republica

Prime Minister Oli has promised to study the possibility of withdrawing cases against those RJPN cadres who are currently serving jail-term, according to RJPN leaders.

KATHMANDU, Jan 5: After swearing in the murder-accused Resham Chaudhary as lawmaker, the government has started internal homework to bring amendment to the constitution as demanded by the Madhes-based political parties.

Deputy parliamentary party leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Subas Nembang has been entrusted with the responsibility to hold informal negotiations to discuss the content of the amendment with leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party Nepal as well as Upendra Yadav-led Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN). This comes in line with the assurances given by Prime Minister KP Oli to RJPN leaders earlier last week to address their grievances related to the constitution.

Prime Minister Oli's press advisor Kundan Aryal confirmed that discussions are currently being held with the Madhes-based parties. “Discussions are being held with Madhes-based parties at the initiative of leader Subas Nembang,” Aryal said.

One of the presidium members of RJPN, Mahendra Raya Yadav, said they have been holding discussions with the leaders of the ruling parties to expedite the amendment process. “Prime Minister Oli had earlier asked us to wait for seven days to address our demands. With the swearing in of Resham Chaudhary, Prime Minister has moved a step forward,” said Yadav.

Apart from their demand to administer oath of office and secrecy to Chaudhary, the Madhes-based parties including the FSFN have been demanding withdrawal of court cases against their cadres and some amendments to the constitution. “One of the major issues concerning constitutional amendment is the citizenship provision. A draft proposal to bring amendments to those provisions is already under discussion in the parliamentary [state affairs] committee. We are hopeful that the issue will be settled through the committee itself,” Yadav further said.

With regard to the court cases, Prime Minister Oli has promised to study the possibility of withdrawing cases against those who are currently serving jail-term, according to RJPN leaders.

FSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav, who is also a deputy prime minister and health minister, has been publicly saying that the current winter session of the parliament itself will endorse a constitution amendment bill. “Deputy Prime Minister Yadav made the statement after holding discussion with Prime Minister Oli,” said Yadav's personal secretary Mahesh Chaurasiya.

Chaurasiya, quoting Deputy Prime Minister Yadav, claimed that the government would form a task force soon to discuss the nitty-gritty of the amendment. “The FSFN joined the government with an agreement to bring amendment to the constitution. The prime minister has assured to introduce an amendment bill after a task force prepares a draft of the amendment and the parties discuss it. This will be endorsed through the ongoing House session,” Chaurasiya further said.

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