UML top brass urged to convince agitators

- Post Report, Kathmandu
Around three dozen lawmakers and party leaders have put forth suggestions on the statute after party restricted them from directly registering amendment proposals

Sep 6, 2015-CPN-UML lawmakers and central leaders representing Madhes constituencies have urged the party leadership to bring Tharu, Madhesi forces and other marginalised communities on board the constitution writing process and ensure the timely promulgation of statute by addressing their demands.

A 10-point memorandum was submitted to party’s Chairman and Parliamentary Party leader KP Sharma Oli, demanding that their concerns be incorporated in revised draft constitution before promulgating it. The pressure from party’s leaders representing the southern plains comes at a time when protests by the disgruntled Tharu, Madhesi and marginalised communities have claimed over two dozen lives and caused huge losses to infrastructure.

They have demanded revision of the demarcation deal among three political parties, arguing that it was impractical. “Demarcation is not practical and it should be redrawn as per experts’ suggestions and principles agreed on the basis of identity and capability,” states the memorandum.

UML lawmakers are miffed at the major parties after they created Province 2 which includes core Madhes without linking it with the Hill. The demarcation, according to them, is against the earlier agreed principle of federating the country based on identity and capability. “They created Province 2 prioritising identity but fully ignored another aspect which is capability. So we are demanding the inclusion of Makawanpur, Sindhuli and Udayapur in this province,” said party leader Shree Prasad Sah. Province 2 was crafted by including Parsa, Bara, Rautahat, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusha, Siraha and Saptari.

Around three dozen lawmakers and central leaders of the party have put forth their suggestions on the revised draft constitution after the party restricted them from directly registering amendment proposal at the Constituent Assembly individually. Party’s lawmakers representing Dalit and indigenous lawmakers have already submitted their demands to the party leadership, calling for ensuring their rights in the new constitution.

Leaders have suggested the party leaders to continue proportional representation of Madhesis, Tharus, Muslims, Dalits and other marginalised communities in the draft constitution. They have expressed concerns over provisions in draft constitution that are unclear about proportional representation of marginalised communities contrary to the constitutional provision of the Interim Constitution. Their other demands include fixing the electoral constituencies based on population, formation of constitutional commissions for Madhesis, Dalits and indigenous nationalities in the constitution.

Echoing views of the agitating Madhesi and Tharu communities, the UML leaders have stressed the need to implement the past pacts signed between various stakeholders including Madhesis and the government while wrapping up the constitution process.

They have suggested the leaders to amend the revised draft constitution by ensuring that there would be no discrimination while granting citizenship in the name of mothers and fathers. The UML has taken a tough position on citizenship through mothers, mainly as regards granting citizenship to children born to foreign women who married to Nepali.

UML Chairman Oli assured the disgruntled lawmakers that the party would incorporate their “genuine” demands. Convinced with the Madhesi leaders’ request to promulgate the new constitution by taking dissatisfied groups into confidence through peaceful dialogue, Oli has asked the leaders to play an active role to bring the agitating parties to the negotiating table. “We are committed to making amendments to the draft constitution for addressing your genuine demands. You have to help us bring them [agitating parties] on board to reach a compromise,” said Oli.

Published: 06-09-2015 07:45

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