CPN-UML lawmakers standing in front of their seats in protest of the House proceedings on Thursday. (Dipesh Shrestha/Republica)
Govt accused of trying to change provincial boundary to "please someone else" against the wish of people from the province
KATHMANDU, Dec 2: Main opposition party CPN-UML obstructed parliament proceedings on Thursday to protest against the constitution amendment bill that proposed changes in provincial boundaries and other provisions.
The government registered a bill that proposes shifting some districts from Province 5 to Province 4 and making changes to the provisions relating to citizenship, language of official business and representation in the National Assembly. The government however is yet to table the bill in the House meeting for deliberations.
Speaker Onsari Gharti couldn't introduce any agenda items in the House meeting as no sooner she announced the commencement of the meeting than UML lawmakers stood up from their seats.
UML leader Bamdev Gautam addressing the parliament vowed to obstruct the House proceedings to stop the bill from getting endorsed.
"The government has flouted the constitution while bringing this amendment bill in parliament. This bill shouldn't have been brought here because this transitional parliament has no right to make changes to provincial boundaries," said Gautam. "The prime minister either doesn't understand the constitution or has deliberately flouted it."
Gautam claimed that the proposal to change the provincial boundaries was brought against the wish of the people from that province and to "please someone else".
"We decided to adopt federalism in a model under which people from the tarai, hills and the mountains stay together," he said. "But the bill has come as a plot to separate the three regions and create conflict between them."
He went on to say that the bill was also a part of a conspiracy to break the Tarai-Madhes region away from the country.
"This proposal has tried to establish Tarai in itself as a separate nation and Nepal as a multinational state," the UML vice-chairman claimed. "This is being done with a plan to lay the ground to break the Tarai away from Nepal."
While leaders from the ruling parties have been claiming that the bill was drafted as per the three-point agreement reached between the agitating Madhes-based parties, Nepali Congress and CPN (Maoist Center) just ahead of the formation of the present government.
Gautam said the country and the people aren't accountable to the three-point deal and can't agree to unacceptable provisions just because the parties signed the deal.
Then, the speaker called the next sitting for Friday without introducing any business in the meeting.
Three small parties -- CPN (ML), Nepal Workers and Peasants Party and Rastriya Janamorcha - have also stood against the bill.