KATHMANDU, Dec 30: The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has instructed chief minister (CM) of Province 3, Dormani Poudel, to name the province as Bagmati and fix Hetauda as the provincial capital.
A secretariat meeting of the party on Sunday instructed CM Poudel to this effect. Party leaders walked away from the meeting venue saying no decision was made. But CM Poudel confirmed the news later, saying he had been instructed to name the province and fix its capital.
“Hetauda has been proposed as provincial capital and the province will be named Bagmati,” said Poudel.
The chief minister said the upcoming session of the provincial assembly will make a formal decision through a vote.
Due to conflicting positions of provincial assembly members of the NCP, which commands majority in the provincial assembly, the party has not been able to name the province and fix its capital.
Bhaktapur, Kathmandu and Banepa have been proposed as the prospective provincial capitals.
Of the total seven provinces, provinces 1, 2, 3 and 5 have been struggling to finalize their names and provincial capitals. Province 4 has been named Gandaki Province, Province 6 Karnali Province and Province 7 Sudur Paschim, and their capitals are Pokhara, Surkhet and Dhangadhi respectively.
The failure to finalize even the names of all the provinces and their capitals has been widely criticized.
Failing to decide the name and capital, Province 5 Chief Minister Shankar Pokharel had asked the top leadership of his party to instruct the lower-level party committees about deciding the name of the province and the location of its capital in the party’s recent Standing Committee meeting.
Days after CM Pokharel’s request, the meeting of the party’s Secretariat, which comprises the top nine leaders of the party, instructed Province 3 chief to fix Hetauda as the provincial capital. Before Prime Minister KP Oli came to power, the Sher Bahadur Deuba-led government had named Hetauda as the temporary capital of Province 3.
The NCP leadership, however, is still silent about fixing the names and capitals of the remaining provinces.