Protest launched demanding Dharan as Province 1 capital

Published On: May 6, 2019 10:00 AM NPT By: Rohit Rai

DHARAN, May 5: At a time when the parliament of Province 1 is struggling to fix its name and permanent capital, political and civil society leaders in Dharan started staging protests since Sunday demanding Dharan be declared the capital of the province.

As the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) is showing no sign of bringing infrastructures to Dharan despite knowing that the date for registering the name and capital of the province in the provincial assembly is approaching, political and civil society leaders launched their protests. 

An all-party meeting called by Dharan Sub-metropolitan City on Saturday evening decided to stage protests to exert pressure on the government to fix Dharan as the capital of the province.

"We decided to start a movement demanding Dharan be declared the capital after some parties claimed that Dharan lacks infrastructures," said Manju Bhandari Subedi, acting mayor of Dharan, adding, "We have already announced that we are ready to provide necessary land and infrastructures needed for declaring Dharan as the provincial capital."

The meeting also decided to hold discussions with the authorities to press their demand. A team of leaders have also announced that they would start submitting memorandums to the province assembly speaker, chief minister, leaders of NCP, province in-charge of the NCP as well as the provincial assembly members of the main opposition Nepali Congress on the issue. After submitting the memorandums, agitating leaders are planning to conduct corner meetings in Dharan. Saturday's meeting also announced to continue the protest until their demand is met.

As per the deadline, province should have proposed the name and capital by Sunday. The   previous deadline was May 2. However, the provincial lawmakers could not agree on the capital as some demanded Itahari and some wanted Dharan. As a result, the deadline was extended for two more days.

There are altogether 93 members in the province where 67 of them belong to NCP.  However, to satisfy all of its leaders, NCP has agreed to fix capital in 'Greater Biratnagar Area'.


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