JANAKPUR, Aug 19: Prime Minister KP Oli has assured the Madhesi people of amending the constitution if any discriminatory elements still existed in that document.
Reiterating that the constitution is not religious scripture but can be amended for the benefit of the people, Prime Minister Oli urged the government of Province 2 and members of the provincial assembly to report to him if they still see any discriminatory elements in the constitution so that it can be amended as per the aspirations of the people.
“We have to move forward, making changes in the constitution as per necessity. If you (members of the provincial assembly) see any discriminatory provisions in the constitution, let me know about it in no uncertain terms. I guarantee to you that the federal government will effect amendments on your behalf and get these endorsed through parliament,” Oli said. He was addressing the provincial assembly of Province 2 on Saturday.
Oli reached Janakpur, the temporary capital of Province 2, at the invitation of the provincial government, to address the provincial assembly.
During his almost one-and-a-half hour address, Prime Minister Oli also requested the provincial assembly members not to indulge in the politics of self-advancement but rather concentrate on the development of their respective constituencies . “We have had too much politics of self-advancement. Let us go for a more positive politics now for the sake of overall national development,” he stressed.
Pointing to lawmakers of Madhes-centric political parties in the provincial assembly, PM Oli clarified, “During the Madhes protests, I was portrayed as a leader with a negative attitude toward the Madhesi people. Honestly speaking, I am not at all the person I was portrayed then.” He said he is committed to the development of Province 2 like any other province.
He said that development of Province 2 is a top priority of the federal government.
“The federal government has prioritized the development of Province 2, which has been lagging behind due to discrimination. If the provincial government and lawmakers of the province support the federal government, it's possible to change the face of the province by the next five years,” he said.
He urged the provincial government to come up with a long-term plan for harnessing the potential of the province in agriculture and industry. “I request the chief minister of the province to come up with a concrete plan. Do not worry about the budget. We ( federal government) will see to its effective implementation,” he added.
He informed the provincial assembly that the federal government is all set to start on the technical work of the Sunkoshi-Marin-Kamala irrigation diversion project within the current fiscal year. He said the project will boost agriculture .
“Province 2 is behind the other provinces in the development index. Poverty and illiteracy are high in the province, which is really unfortunate. I want to assure you all that the federal government will do everything it can to change the face of the province in the remaining four-and-half years,” Oli said.
Three lawmakers from the Rastriya Janta Party Nepal boycotted the prime minister's address to the provincial assembly. Lawmakers Uprendra Mahato, Biki Yadav and Gouri Narayan Shah announced that they would boycott Oli's speech and left the assembly hall. RJPN has been demanding the swearing in of suspended House of Representatives member Resham Chaudary, the main suspect in the Tikapur lynchings.