Govt seeking Madhesi commitment only to delay amendment: Madhes parties

November 28, 2016 01:20 AM


The three parties do not want to hold election any time soon and their seeking commitment from Madhesi parties to owning the amendment and participating in the election could just be an excuse to delay matters.
-- Hridayesh Tripathi

KATHMANDU, Nov 28: Leaders of the Madhes-based parties have said that seeking their commitments for participation in the elections prior to registering the constitution amendment bill could be only an excuse to delay the amendment.

Despite the government's plan to register the amendment bill in parliament Sunday, the plan did not succeed as leaders of the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) wanted commitments from the agitating Madhes-based parties to back the amendment bill and participate in the local elections prior to the registration of the bill in parliament.

However, the Madhes-based leaders said that Prime Minister and leaders in the government had not sought any such commitment until their last meeting.

"Election is a distant issue for now. We are seeking amendment to the constitution. If the government does not register the amendment bill within the given deadline, we will have no other option than launching fresh protest," said Rajendra Mahato, the chairman of Sadbhavana Party.

Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party leader Hridayash Tripathi said that he is unaware of the government seeking prior commitments from the Madhes-based parties.

"Until our last meeting with the prime minister, there was no issue of prior commitments. We have nothing to say if they ask for our commitments now. It could be an excuse for them to avoid amendment," said Tripathi.

"We cannot sign any commitment paper now because we don't know how the bill would be registered and how will it address our demands," he added.

Tripathi also claimed that the three parties do not want to hold election any time soon and their seeking commitment from Madhesi parties to owning the amendment and participating in the election could just be an excuse to delay matters.

"CPN (Maoist Center) fears election as it could lose the strategic position in the current parliament while the NC and UML are weak because of factionalism and the Madhes movement. They are in no mood to go to elections. So, their seeking our commitments is just an excuse for not addressing our demands," Tripathi explained.

On the other hand, the Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) led by Upendra Yadav has been saying that the government's proposal on changing provincial delineation is incomplete and cannot address their demands. 

The agitating parties had given 15 days to the government to register the amendment bill and the deadline ends Monday. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who garnered a majority in the House signing a three-point deal with the Madhes-based parties, is under pressure to bring the amendment bill in parliament since the one of the agreements in the deal was to amend the constitution. 


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