MPs back ‘undivided’ demand

  • Cross-party CA members warn of fuelling stir if their regions were not kept whole in states
- KAMAL DEV BHATTARAI, Kathmandu

Aug 12, 2015-

As the major parties urged protesters to exercise restraint, Constituent Assembly members from the four parties have supported the demand for undivided specific regions, zones and districts.

Speaking in the CA on Tuesday, cross-party lawmakers warned of intensifying their street agitation if their regions were divided between provinces.

Discussions on the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) report in the Assembly were dominated by the demand for a Tharuhat state and for leaving Karnali and the mid-western region undivided. CA members from the Nepali Congress, CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik demanded a separate Tharuhat province. They objected to the proposed six-province model which breaks the key clusters of the Tharus.

NC leader Amresh Kumar Singh said the six provinces had ended the identity of Madhes, Janajati and Tharus. 

“The Tharu people will not accept this. The model should be revised taking suggestions from all the stakeholders,” said Singh. CA members Jitendra Narayan Dev, Yogendra Chaudhary and Kalpana Chaudhary of the MJF-Loktantrik, Aman Lal Modi of the UCPN (Maoist) and Surendra Chaudhary of the NC supported the agenda of a separate Tharuwan.

Dev said the UML and the UCPN (Maoist) had betrayed them and the proposed provinces are against the spirit of the 16-point deal. More than three dozen CA members have come together to demand a Tharuhat state.

MJF-L Chairman Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar is pressing the Big Three to form a separate Tharu province from Nawalparasi to Kanchanpur. If this is impossible, he has urged that the Tharu majority Kailali should be shifted from Province 6 to Province 5.

Cross-party CA members also supported the ongoing protest for a Karnali province. UML CA member Bal Bahadur Mahat supported the demand for an autonomous Karnali state. He, however, asked the people to keep their protests peaceful. NC lawmaker Rita Shahi said protests would not stop until an autonomous Karnali province is guaranteed. “There will be more protests if our demands are not met. Top leaders of the major parties should be serious about it,” said Shahi. Mahendra Bahadur Shahi of the UCPN (Maoist) also spoke for a Karnali province.

Locals, business leaders, student unions and political parties have taken to the streets denouncing the pact to merge Karnali with the far-western province.

The demand for undivided Mid West also got the backing of cross-party CA members. NC’s Hridayaram Thani said the decision taken by a handful of leaders was unacceptable to the local people.

The Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal boycotted discussions on the PDCC report. Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum, Sadbhawana Party and Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party also stayed out of the deliberations saying that the federal model does not address the aspirations of the Janajatis, Madhesis and the Tharus.

Rastriya Janamorcha Chairman Chitra Bahadur KC objected to the splitting of Baglung district. Managing the concerns raised by all the CA members appears to be as difficult for the parties as implementing the six-state model.

 

Published: 12-08-2015 10:43

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