ILAM, August 15: Former prime minister and CPN (Unified Socialist) leader Jhalanath Khanal has said that the question of citizenship is not only an issue for any party but of national consensus. Saying that the Citizenship Bill is not like other bills, Khanal made it clear that it should be passed only if there is a majority in its favor.
At a press conference held at the headquarters of Ilam on Monday morning, Khanal said that he had not studied the reason why the President sent the bill back to parliament. "I have not studied what the President has studied and returned the bill," he said, "I can say only after studying it."
Khanal, who is also a senior leader of the ruling CPN (Unified Socialist), said that efforts to pass the Citizenship Bill in various ways without national consensus are not good. "This is a very serious question, it is a long-term question, it is a question of the whole nation," he said, "It is not a question of one or two parties and leaders."
President Bidya Devi Bhandari sent the Citizenship Bill submitted by the government for authentication back to parliament for further discussion on Sunday. The ruling parties are angry over this move of the President. The main opposition party CPN-UML has welcomed the President's move.