Ruling parties for redrawing borders

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 16, 2015-The ruling parties have said they are ready to revisit the boundaries of the seven states on the basis of an agreement among the forces that back the new constitution.

In principle, major coalition partners CPN-UML, UCPN (Maoist) and the Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal are ready to address the demands of the agitating Madhes-based parties, according to leaders. However, the parties have conflicting positions over a concrete modality of redrawing the boundaries.

The UML has slightly changed its position from its earlier stance that the federal commission finalises the state borders. It now says that it is ready for an amendment if there is an understanding on the matter among the parties.

“We are ready to address the demands of the Madhes-based parties if there is an agreement among the major political parties,” said Prime Minister KP Oli’s Political Adviser Bishnu Rimal.

For constitutional amendment, three major parties—Nepali Congress, UML and UCPN (M)—should come together. In his address to the nation on Sunday, the prime minister said federal boundaries could change on the basis of “necessity and experience”.

UML leaders, however, say Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts cannot be part of Madhes provinces as demanded by the disgruntled Tarai-based parties.

Ruling party leaders say the Tarai cannot be separated from the Hills in the state set-up. The UCPN (Maoist) supports the demands of the Madhes-based parties for two provinces. The party, however, is of the view that the Hills and Tarai cannot be separated totally from each other. The Maoists argue that the demands of Tharus should be resolved immediately.

Another coalition partner, RPP-Nepal, has no clear response to the demands of the Madhesi parties. It has expressed its readiness to resolve the issues on the basis of consensus.

The opposition Nepali Congress has similar position as the UML on the boundaries. The NC-led government had registered an amendment proposal on two major demands of the Madhes-based parties: proportional inclusive representation and delimitation of electoral constituencies on the basis of population.

Published: 16-11-2015 08:20

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