JHAPA/SUNSARI/SAPTARI/MAH0TTARI, Nov 17: Locals and other stakeholders in various districts of the Tarai have strongly objected to the idea of allowing naturalized citizens into top state posts.
They have said that allowing naturalized citizens to hold key state posts is not the demand of the Madhesi people and that the main opposition CPN-UML was simply trying to divert people’s attention from the real demands of Madhesis by deliberately raising the issues surrounding naturalized citizenship.
People from the four districts of Jhapa, Sunsari, Saptari and Mahottari said that allowing naturalized citizens to hold key state posts will deprive native Madhesi people of such opportunities. They said it was surprising to see the issue of naturalized citizenship being raised as one of the key demands of Madhesi people.
The issue of naturalized citizenship caused controversy after an amendment proposal, which was under discussion among political parties, came out in the open. The proposal included a provision to allow those acquiring naturalized citizenship to hold key state posts, including the post of chief executive.
Our country is already small. And if we make the process of acquiring citizenship easy, the day may arrive when the natives of the country will be in a minority and we will be ruled by the citizens of another country. Surya Narayan Ganesh,
Jhapa district chairman,
Leaders of Madhes-based political parties and other stakeholders said that allowing naturalized citizens to hold key state posts will also pose a serious threat to the country’s security.
“We have never demanded that those with naturalized citizenship should be allowed to hold top posts,” said Tri Narayan Rajbansi, Jhapa district chairman of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party, adding that the United Democratic Madhesi Front will never accept such a provision.
Jhapa district chairman of the Sadbhavana Party, Surya Narayan Ganesh, opined that the process of issuing citizenship should be made more strict. “Our country is already small.
And if we make the process of acquiring citizenship easy, the day may arrive when the natives of the country will be in a minority and we will be ruled by the citizens of another country,” he added.
He also said that allowing naturalized citizens to hold top posts may pose a thread to national security.
Similarly, intellectuals in Mahottari said that Nepal should not allow its naturalized citizens to hold key posts, as no other country allows this privilege to its naturalized citizens.
Professor at Matihani Bidyapeeth Dhurba Ray, however, argued that those who acquire naturalized citizenship through marriage should be given rights equal to citizens by descent.
Likewise, Mahi Chand Sah, Sunsari district chairman of Nepal Sadbhavana Party, and Bauwa Lal Mahato, Inaruwa chairman of Madhesi People’s Right Forum Democratic, also objected to the provision of allowing naturalized citizens into top state posts.
Sunsari district sub-incharge of Federal Socialist Forum Nepal, SN Mahato, said that the government should investigate Indians who have acquired Nepali citizenships unlawfully.