Parties weigh 7-state model

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 19, 2015-The major political parties have floated a new proposal of federating the country into seven provinces previously suggested by the ruling Nepali Congress and CPN-UML.

In a bid to pacify outrage and protests that broke out against the six-province model in various parts of the country, including the Mid West, Far West and Madhes, leaders of the main opposition UCPN (Maoist) on Wednesday proposed a seven-province model that was initially tabled by the NC and UML in November last year.

If the proposal is endorsed, the existing structure of proposed Province 6 will be changed and a separate Karnali province will be created. The major parties have been discussing to find an amicable solution after their six-province model drew sharp criticism.

According to leaders attending Wednesday’s special committee meeting, the proposal received positive response from the UML and a section of Nepali Congress but Prime Minister Sushil Koriala walked out immediately after the proposal was floated in the meeting. Senior NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and most of the UML leaders, who attended the meeting, had given their consent to the proposal.

“UML and some NC leaders seemed positive, but the PM walked out immediately after the proposal was floated in the meeting. He did not even heed our request to discuss the issue and we could not reach any conclusion,” said Maoist Vice-chairman Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

The NC and UML had tabled the seven-province proposal namely Koshi, Janakpur, Bagmati, Gandaki, Lumbini, Karnali and Far West at the Constituent Assembly’s Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (PDCC) in November 2014. However, their bid to get it endorsed by the CA failed after the Maoist party obstructed the voting process in the Assembly.

According to Maoist leaders, the ruling parties’ seven-province proposal could convince disgruntled people rather than their recent proposal to federate the country into a six province model.

As most of the districts in the Mid West were included in the Province 6, the demarcation row worsened in major districts of the region, including Jumla, Surkhet, Rukum and Salyan. Protests have also spread to Madhes. Four people—three in Surkhet and one in Saptari—were killed in police firing. “We hope seven-province proposal tabled by the NC-UML can pacify the ongoing protests,” said Shrestha.

Reacting to the Maoist party’s indication to endorse the idea backed by the ruling parties, UML Deputy General Secretary Bishnu Poudel said his party was open to accepting the proposal.

“We are weighing various options and will try to reach a conclusion by tomorrow [Thursday],” said Nepali Congress Vice-president Ram Chandra Poudel.

Even as Koirala walked out of the meeting, NC leaders attending the meeting have vowed to sit for the next round after holding a separate meeting with the PM.

new proposal

  • UCPN (Maoist) leaders propose a seven-province model that was initially tabled by the NC and UML last year in a bid to pacify outrage and protests that broke out against the six-province model
  • Senior NC leader Sher Bahadur Deuba and most of the UML leaders positive towards the idea. But PM Koirala walks out immediately after it was floated in the meeting
  •  NC and UML had earlier tabled the seven-province proposal namely Koshi, Janakpur, Bagmati, Gandaki, Lumbini, Karnali and Far West before PDCC in Nov 2014
  • If endorsed, the proposed Province 6 will be changed and a separate Karnali province will be create

Published: 20-08-2015 08:15

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