Some NC leaders for vote on amendment before polls

Published On: March 28, 2017 12:20 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, March 28: Leaders of the Nepali Congress (NC) have suggested bringing the agitating Madhes-based political parties on board the local election by putting the constitution amendment bill to vote in parliament.

Speaking at the party central committee meeting Monday, most of the leaders suggested that if the amendment bill is put to vote, agitating Madhes-based political parties will also take part in the upcoming local election.

“If we are able to get the amendment bill endorsed by parliament then that will be our plank in Madhes for the elections, and if we fail to do so the Madhes-based parties can use that as their plank for the elections,” NC leader Man Bahadur Biswakarma told Republica.

Biswakarma opined at the meeting that a secessionist force may arise in Madhes if Madhes-based parties are left out of the elections. 

Other NC leaders including, Ananda Dhungana, Deepak Giri, and Kiran Yadav among others also said that holding the polls in all the provinces except for Province 2 would be counterproductive for the country, according to leaders participating in the meeting.
“Putting the amendment bill to vote in parliament would send a positive message in Tarai-Madhes that our party had honestly tried to address the grievances of the region,” said NC leader Kiran Yadav at the meeting. She further said that NC has nothing to lose even if the amendment bill fails in parliament.
Recalling the local polls held by the then King Gyanendra Shah during the Maoist insurgency, NC leaders Ananda Dhungana suggested to the party leadership that holding local polls amid a boycott by the Madhes-based political parties would be futile. 

However, some party leaders opposed the amendment bill at the party meeting. “The amendment bill cannot garner two-thirds majority in parliament and it will take us nowhere, except for making the polls uncertain,” Dhan Raj Gurung reportedly told the meeting. 

Gurung also demanded fencing the Nepal-India border with barbed wire for security and for controlling cross-border crime. Stating that India should apologize for the killing of Govinda Gautam by Sashastra Seema Bal in Kanchanpur district, Gurung demanded that NC should take initiative for demanding an apology.
Leaders, Arjun Narsingh KC, Bal Krishna Khand, Gyanendra Bahadur Karki, Umakanta Chaudhary, Jeeven Shahi, Pushpa Bhusal and Kamala Panta among others had aired their views at the meeting, according to a statement issued by the party. 

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