India welcomes Nepal Cabinet decisions

  • addressing madhes issues
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 22, 2015-

India on Monday welcomed the decisions taken by the government of Nepal to address demands regarding the constitution raised by agitating Madhes-based parties.

The government on Sunday had decided to form a high-level political mechanism to redraw the borders of federal provinces as part of its bid to end the prolonged Madhes crisis.

Issuing a statement on Monday, India’s Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, “Government of India welcomes these developments as positive steps that help create the basis for a resolution of the current impasse in Nepal.”

The Cabinet-formed mechanism has been mandated with the task of submitting a report within three months of its formation.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa on Monday spoke with India’s Minister for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and communicated the Cabinet decisions. 

Stating that External Affairs Minister [Swaraj] was informed by Nepal’s DPM and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa on Monday that Nepal’s Cabinet has taken some important decisions to address and resolve demands regarding the constitution raised by agitating Madhes-based parties, the MEA said: “As a neighbour and well-wisher, India was deeply concerned at the unrest stemming from internal differences in Nepal on the constitution. India is confident that a return to normalcy in Nepal would create a more secure and predictable climate for unimpeded commerce between our two countries.”

The MEA has also urged all Nepali political forces to demonstrate the necessary maturity and flexibility to find a satisfactory solution to the constitutional issues through constructive dialogue in an agreed timeframe. 

Sunday’s Cabinet decisions include amendments to the constitution on participation in the state organs on the basis of proportionate inclusiveness and delineation of electoral constituencies on the basis of population. The government has also decided to address the concerns about demarcation of provinces through an appropriate arrangement in the constitution on the basis of political consensus. On citizenship and other issues, the government has said the issues will be resolved through negotiations and consensus.

The Madhes-based parties, which are objecting to the government move of tabling the Constitution Amendment Bill in Parliament, have made redrawing of provincial boundaries their key demand. 

The government had tabled the bill in Parliament on December 15. The bill proposes proportional representation of women, Dalits, Janajatis and the Madhesi community in state bodies and electoral constituency delimitation based on the population by retaining at least one constituency for each of the 75 districts.

Objecting to the tabling of the bill, the Madhes-based parties have decided to intensify protests in the Tarai. 

Before communicating Sunday’s Cabinet decisions to Swaraj on Monday, DPM and Minister for Foreign Affairs Thapa had handed over a copy of the decisions to the agitating Madhes-based parties at his office in Sheetal Niwas and urged the protesting forces to withdraw their protests in the Tarai. 

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPM and Foreign Minister Thapa assured the Madhes-based parties that the government was committed to politically addressing their concerns by forming a high-level political mechanism with the mandate to submit a report on redrawing of provincial border outlined by the 

newly adopted constitution with acceptable recommendations for all sides within 

three months and redrawing of electoral constituencies on the basis of the population. Thapa also urged the Madhes-based parties to withdraw the ongoing protests in the Tarai. 

Published: 22-12-2015 08:30

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