BIRATNAGAR, May 8: The provincial assembly of Province 1 on Monday endorsed the proposal of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) to fix Biratnagar as the capital of the province with an understanding to set up legislative and executive offices in the greater Biratnagar area.
The proposed greater Biratnagar includes Biratnagar, Itahari, and Sundarharaicha.
The decision comes after months of dispute between the ruling party NCP in the province and the opposition parties -- Nepali Congress (NC) and Federal Socialist Forum Nepal (FSFN) -- over the issue of the permanent administrative capital of the province.
Previously, the provincial assembly members from the NC and FSFN had been lobbying to make greater Biratnagar region as the capital, while Provincial Assembly members from the ruling NCP were for naming any other city but Biratnagar as the provincial capital.
The proposal tabled on Sunday had caused strong dissatisfaction among provincial assembly members from the NCP as the leaders of the opposition parties were opposed to it. As a result, the ruling NCP held meetings with the assembly members from NC and FSFN to win their favor for passing the proposal.
It took the NCP leaders including the chief minister of the province Sherdhan Rai four hours to convince the parliamentarians from the opposition parties to bring them in favor of the proposal. The proposal was passed with a two-thirds majority of 86 votes, while an NC leader opted out of voting.