NC, ruling FSFN join the fray for constitution amendment

Published On: January 6, 2019 08:07 AM NPT By: Republica

KATHMANDU, Jan 6: Ruling coalition partner Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) on Saturday drew the attention of Prime Minister K P Oli about the government’s dilly-dallying in initiating the constitution amendment process as demanded by the Madhes-based political parties.

Deputy Prime Minister Upendra Yadav’s party toock such move after mounting pressure from another Madhes-based party - Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) - and the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) drawing the government’s attention on the issue.

Submitting an 11-point memorandum to the prime minister at his official residence in Baluwatar, FSFN Chairperson Yadav demanded endorsement of the constitution amendment bill from the ongoing parliament session. Reminding the prime minister that the government has a comfortable position in parliament with two-thirds majority for statute amendment, the party has sought Oli’s initiative to push forward the amendment process. 

“The formation of a progressive government in Nepal was itself an achievement,” reads the memorandum submitted to the prime minister. The second point of the 11-point memorandum has demanded immediate homework for the constitution amendment and its endorsement within the ongoing House session to institutionalize the political achievements including federalism, democracy, republic and proportional inclusion. 

“The prime minister was positive toward our demands and he also assured us of amending the constitution if it is necessary,” said FSFN General Secretary Ram Sahaya Yadav.

The prime minister’s ally Yadav also expressed discontent toward the government’s performance in the memorandum. 

“It is crystal clear that anarchism, bureaucratic red-tape, corruption and irregularities have become rampant in the country. We have drawn the attention of the prime minister about all these issues though we are also in the government because these issues should be controlled,” General Secretary Yadav told Republica. 

FSFN also demanded the government to withdraw cases filed against its leaders and cadres involved in the Madhes-Tharuhat movements. The party has also demanded allocation of resources and power for capacity enhancement of the provincial governments and to formulate necessary laws for their effective functioning. 

Besides Prime Minister Oli, other top leaders of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) including Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal, General Secretary Bishnu Paudel and Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa were present at the meeting while FSFN leaders Yadav, Vice Chairperson Ashok Rai and General Secretary Yadav submitted the memorandum. 

Earlier, RJPN leaders had warned Prime Minister Oli of withdrawing their support to the government if the party’s demands including constitution amendment were not addressed at the earliest. RJPN Presidium coordinator Rajendra Mahato also criticized the government for not initiating the amendment process as committed to the party, while addressing the first meeting of the winter session of the parliament last month. Also, the president of the main opposition party, Sher Bahadur Deuba, accused the government of not initiating the constitution amendment process to appease the agitated communities.

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