General

Oli assures RJP-N on amendments

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Oct 16, 2018-

The government would start amending the constitution before Tihar festival Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has assured leaders of Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal (RJP-N).

Four of the six leaders of RJP-N presidium on October 8 discussed the topic with the PM for few hours at Baluwatar after handing him the memorandum for the second time.

“Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had assured us he would begin amendments of constitution during festival holidays before Tihar, but we urged him to do it before Chhath,” said Anil Jha, one of the leaders in RJP-N presidium.

RJP-N leaders have warned Prime Minister Oli of withdrawing their party support to his government and start protests that could push the country into another conflict.The party has alleged the government of ignoring their demands including withdrawing ‘fake’ cases against its cadres, administering oath to its lawmaker-elect Resham Chaudhary besides amending the constitution.

RJP-N presidium co-ordinator Mahantha Thakur handed a memorandum, signed by him, to PM Oli. The memo says, “If the government failed to administer oath to Chaudhary, withdraw fake cases and amend the constitution the party would be forced to withdraw support to the government and Nepal would be pushed to conflict once again.”

The leaders told the prime minister that he would be held responsible for its consequences.The RJP-N party members remain divided on whether to begin with full-fledged or mild protests after Chhath festival. Leaders, including Anil Jha, are keen to start aggressive protests with strikes after all festivals conclude. Other leaders favoured soft protests.

“We are hopeful that PM Oli would begin discussions soon,” Jha said.

Meanwhile, a political committee (politburo) member of the ruling Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal (SSF-N) Shivaji Yadav has warned his party could also think of withdrawing support to the government after Tihar. He said the government has failed to make necessary preparations for the amendment of constitution.

“If the government delays the process of amending the constitution even after Tihar we would be forced to think about withdrawing out support to the government,” Yadav said.SSF-N had joined the Oli-led government after signing a two-point pact to ensure amendment of the constitution. Party chair Upendra Yadav, who is the Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister, maintains a diplomatic silence.

The key demands of the SSF-N and RJP-N are amending the constitution and revision of provincial boundaries.

The ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), formed after the merger of erstwhile CPN-UML and CPN Maoist Centre, has gradually become flexible on amending the constitution, but its leaders are worried that while trying to address the demands of RJP-N and SSF-N they could inadvertently open the ‘Pandora’s box’ that could create a difficult situation.

Deputy leader of ruling NCP parliamentary party Subas Chandra Nembang said the constitution could be amended based on necessity as it is already implemented.Earlier, the erstwhile CPN-UML was adamant on amending it without implementing the constitution.

Published: 16-10-2018 07:45

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