Print Edition - 2015-07-20 | Main News
Statute suggestions top 12k
- - Two-day public consultation begins today - Leaders in districts to collect views on draft
Jul 19, 2015-
The Committee on Citizen Relations and Public Opinion Collection has so far received over 12,000 suggestions on the preliminary draft of the new constitution.
People registered their feedback via a toll free number, website, email and direct mail from across the country. Most suggestions are related to the preamble, federalism, forms of government, citizenship and fundamental rights.
The Constituent Assembly Secretariat, however, has not provided the details of what kinds of suggestions they are receiving arguing that revealing it could influence feedback to be received in the coming days. According to Secretariat spokesman Bharat Raj Gautam, there are an encouraging number of inputs also from the Nepalis residing abroad.
“Sixty five percent suggestions on the website are from within the country while the rest are from Nepalis abroad,” said Gautam. The committee plans to organise interaction programmes in all the 240 electoral constituencies on Monday and Tuesday. However, there are complaints from the field of an insufficient number of copies of the constitution draft and the rain affecting the opinion collection process. CA members have already reached their constituencies for gathering people’s views on the proposed constitution. More than 590 lawmakers and 150 officials from the CA Secretariat have been deployed for feedback collection, with top political leaders pledging to engage in public hearings in their respective constituencies. On July 9, the Assembly endorsed a 15-day action plan for public consultation.
People in the districts are excited to express their views on the charter even as a majority of those in rural areas have not got the copies of the constitution draft.
Some groups opposed to key proposed constitutional provisions, burnt copies of the draft and even attempted to foil interaction programmes at places.
Local party leaders and social activists have been helping Constituent Assembly members and CA Secretariat officials to collect people’s inputs for the law of the land. Informal sessions were held on Sunday to gather public opinion. People put forth their suggestions on matters related to secularism, federalism and capital punishment.
Addressing a party gathering in Birtamod, Jhapa, CPN-UML Chairman KP Oli instructed cadres to speak for a minimum 3 percent threshold during the interaction with lawmakers. Oli also directed them to register suggestions in favour of religious freedom. In Biratnagar, Madhesi leader Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar said public opinion on religion would be respected. “We will consider public views if the majority favours Hindu state,” Gachhadar told the reporters at Biratnagar Airport on Sunday. A large number of people consulted in various districts wanted Nepal declared a Hindu state.
The suggestions will be forwarded to the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee for deliberation. The committee is scheduled to submit its report to the CA on Thursday.
In Saptari, police arrested two cadres of Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum Nepal for allegedly attempting to obstruct the public consultation process. Jagadev Yadav and Rajendra Yadav were held from Portaha after they tore up the draft distributed to the people. In Yoginiya, activists of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal and some Madhes-based parties burnt copies of the draft. In Tulsipur and Ghorahi of Dang district, activists of the Netra Bikram Chand-led CPN Maoist burnt the draft to symbolically
protest the party’s opposition to the constitution writing process.
Nepali Congress lawmaker Amaresh Kumar Singh said he would boycott the two-day public opinion collection programme.
(With inputs from our district correspondents)
Published: 20-07-2015 07:48