Consider viability and locals’ views in states: Prez to Big 4

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 15, 2015-

President Ram Baran Yadav has advised senior leaders of major political parties to demarcate provinces in line with the aspirations of the local people and by ensuring resource-sharing among the provinces.

Arguing that federalism may not sustain only by addressing political demands, the head of state advised the leaders to make all the provinces economically viable and to respect local people’s aspirations while maintaining national integrity.

In a meeting with the heads of major parties, President Yadav expressed his concerns whether some states including Province 2 in the Tarai could sustain without the Hills. “Will this province sustain economically? Will the people in this region get equal opportunities in future?” a source quoted the President as wondering.

Province 2, which is also the electoral constituency of President Yadav, comprises only the Tarai districts of Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha and Saptari. Most of the districts rank low in Human Development Index. Yadav was also worried about the protests taking place across the country including in the far-western and mid-western regions against the delineation.

Disagreeing with the major parties’ decision to fast-track constitution promulgation, the President suggested following the set procedure in the Constituent Assembly. The leaders, however, expressed their reservations about the President’s views on following the due procedure.

The President warned that lawmakers could be dissatisfied if they did not get enough time to discuss the final statute draft in the CA. “Timely promulgation of the constitution is a positive thing but lawmakers should not feel that they were not involved in discussions on the draft,” Yadav’s Press Advisor Rajendra Dahal quoted him as saying.

The President, however, pledged support to the process devised by the parties. Chiefs of major parties were invited to the President’s residence at a time when the new constitution reaches its final stage. Maoist leader Baburam Bhattarai, who heads the Special Committee of the Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee, attended the meeting too.

Prime Minister and Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala, CPN-UML Chairman KP Sharma Oli, UCPN (Maoist) chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik head Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar were invited for a dinner meeting at Sheetal Niwas. Drafting Committee head Krishna Prasad Sitaula snubbed the invite.

During the two-hour session, the President praised the leaders for deciding the state borders as directed by the Supreme Court. He also suggested that the parties ensure independence and autonomy of constitutional bodies and the court, and include as fundamental rights only the provisions that the state is capable of ensuring.

Published: 16-08-2015 09:40

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