India welcomes govt move to register statute amendment bill

Published On: December 5, 2016 12:00 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 5: India has welcomed the constitution amendment process which the government of Nepal initiated in order to address the grievances of various agitating Madhes-based parties. 

Vikas Swarup, spokesperson at the Ministry of External Affairs of India, on Sunday termed the registration of the constitutional amendment bill in the parliament as 'an important step'. 
Last Tuesday, the government registered a seven-point amendment bill that includes changes in the delineation of Province 4 and Province 5 despite strong objections from the main opposition party, CPN-UML, and local people living in those provinces. 

“Our consistent position has been that peace, stability, and progress of Nepal is in the interests of both India and Nepal. We have therefore been supportive of initiatives of the government of Nepal to meet the aspirations of all sections of its society through dialogue and constitutional process,” said Swarup, while indirectly admitting India's role in encouraging Nepal government to register the amendment bill that has sparked controversy and protests in various parts of the country.

As the amendment process did not garner support even from the agitating Madhesh-based parties, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae had invited top leaders of all Madhes-based parties for a breakfast meeting at the embassy on Saturday. The ambassador had reportedly asked the Madhes-based parties to extend support to the government to endorse the amendment bill that has received stiff opposition in the parliament. 

While lauding the government's move to register the constitution amendment bill, India has also expressed its hope that all sides will remain closely engaged and the ongoing efforts would conclude successfully. “As a close and friendly neighbor, India will continue to extend all support for Nepal's peace and stability and accelerated economic development in accordance with the priorities of the people and the government of Nepal,” the spokesperson further said.

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