KATHMANDU, Jan 10: The Madhes-based parties are preparing to start negotiations with the ruling coalition and other parties to review the constitution amendment bill tabled in the parliament on Sunday and pass it from the parliament by two-thirds majority.
According to Keshav Jha, the general secretary of National Madhes Socialist Party, the Federal Alliance and the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) will focus on revisiting and reviewing the amendment bill and add some provisions on it during the parliamentary discussion so that it could meet their demands.
"We will meet the prime minister and Nepali Congress leaders soon and discuss on the issues to be incorporated further on the bill through amendment process in the parliament. Then, we will start a bid to convince Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Madhesi People's Right Forum - Democratic (MPRF-D) and other fringe parties to support the amendment bill," said Jha.
"We'll try convincing the main opposition CPN-UML in endorsing the amendment bill but if the UML leadership gives the cold shoulder, we'll appeal to UML lawmakers from Madhesi and indigenous community to support the bill," he added.
Sadbhavana Party Co-chairman Laxman Lal Karna said that the UDMF will start inter-party discussions to make the bill more progressive in the direction of addressing Madhes issues.
"We are hopeful that the bill will be endorsed from the parliament with further amendment so that it could address all the concerns of Madhes-based parties. Until Sunday, the UML was saying it would not allow the government to table the bill at any cost but the opposition party allowed it on Sunday. Time will come, they'll negotiate. I hope, UML will soften its stance during the parliamentary procedure," said Karna.
Likewise, Jha also expressed confidence that the amendment bill will be endorsed by two-thirds majority even if the UML maintains its position. "After a prolonged protest and a long battle in the parliament, legitimate forces in Madhes could face trouble if the amendment could not garner two-thirds majority. However, we are hopeful that the amendment process will be completed with two-third majority, if the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) remain honest toward their commitment," said Jha.
Meanwhile, Jha claimed that the ruling coalition is positive toward registering further amendment on the amendment bill. "The ruling coalition is positive toward addressing our demands on the language of official uses as well as excluding village chairman, vice-chairman, municipality mayor and deputy-mayor from the Electoral College for electing the members of National Assembly," said Jha.