KATHMANDU, Jan 8: The UML has taken strong exception to a government plan to hold the first meeting of the provincial assembly in Kathmandu, saying such a move would be against the spirit of federalism. Criticizing the preparations to appoint governors for the seven provinces without fixing the provincial capitals, UML leaders on Sunday said that the government should take both decisions at once or let the new government do it.
Law Minister Yagya Bahadur Thapa on Sunday said that the government was planning to administer oaths to new chief ministers in Kathmandu. Governors for seven provinces are likely to be appointed on Monday, while the new chief ministers will be administered oath of office later this month. Despite its initial plan to appoint the governors and name temporary provincial capitals together, the government was forced to abort the second plan in the wake of the nationwide protest against the proposed provincial capitals.
“The government should either appoint governors and fix the provincial capital itself or let the new government do the work. Administering oaths to chief ministers in Kathmandu will not give a good message,” UML leader Bhim Rawal told reporters during an interaction in the capital on Sunday.
UML leaders have also hinted that the new government would revoke the current government’s decision on the appointment of governors if the temporary provincial capitals are not announced together.
Unlike the UML, CPN (Maoist Center) has welcomed the government decision to allow the provincial governments to fix their provincial capitals later.
CPN (Maoist Center) spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said it was in the larger interests of the country and people to find amicable solution to the row over provincial capitals. Thousands of angry protesters in over a dozen of places have been taking to the streets demanding that the government announce their cities as provincial capitals.
In its proposal which, according to senior officials, is “subject to revision”, the government has respectively proposed to make Dang, Biratnagar and Dhangadhi the provincial capital of Province 5, 1 and 7. Similarly, the government is planning to fix Janakpur, Thimi, Pokhara and Birendranagar as the provincial capitals of Province 2, Province 3, Province 4 and Province 6, respectively.