Local bodies commissioner mulls quitting as Province 2 in-charge

Published On: December 14, 2016 07:07 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Dec 14: As the local restructuring commission is working to finalize the number and boundaries of local units in the eight districts of Province 2 on its own citing non-cooperation from various political parties, a member of the commission Sunil Ranjan Singh, who also works as the in-charge for Province 2 in the commission, has said he is mulling over quitting the responsibility as in-charge.

He decided not to continue to work as in-charge of the Province-2 mainly because the commission failed to forge consensus among the political parties in the province. He, however, will continue to work as member of the commission.

The commission decided to finalize the number and boundaries of local units to be carved out under the new federal system on its own as the commission’s months-long efforts to delineate the units in political consensus didn’t succeed. 

“The criteria given by the government to the commission for local restructuring has clearly stated that the commission should hold talks with leaders of political parties and representatives from other sectors and forge a consensus on a number of local units in each district,” Singh told Republica. “But as my continuous efforts failed I made up my mind not to work as in-charge of the province any longer.”

He said that fixing the number of local units in the eight districts by the commission on its own may invite further political complications in future as the locals could reject the delineations.

He said he is likely to submit his resignation from the post of in-charge on Tuesday. “My resignation will be on moral grounds,” he added. 

Last week, after efforts to hold talks with representatives from political parties in the eight districts of Province 2 failed, Singh and his team had held talks with the lawmakers from four major political parties as a last ditch effort. The commission members requested the local politicians to reach consensus on the number of local units to be created in the eight districts-- Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Siraha, Saptari. 

But the effort didn’t yield any result as Nepali Congress lawmakers from the eight districts, urged the commission to determine the number of local units only after holding consultations with the locals. They were against finalizing the matter from the central level.

“As the Madhesi parties had already been creating obstructions in the commission’s work, the objection from the lawmakers of the largest political party has added further complication. So I am mulling over quitting the responsibility,” Singh said. 

Madhesi leaders have been arguing that they will participate in the local restructuring work only after the ongoing dispute over provincial demarcation is settled. They have also been demanding that the local units be put under the jurisdiction of the province.

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