Bill tabled at House amid protest

  • But discussion is postponed as NC and other fringe parties seek a few more days to bring Morcha on board
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu

Dec 24, 2015-

The government on Wednesday tabled the bill on first amendment to the Constitution for discussion in Parliament amid a protest from the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha. The discussion, however, could not commence as the main opposition Nepali Congress and other fringe parties sought a few more days to bring the agitating parties on board for the amendment process. 

Minister for Industry Som Prasad Pandey tabled the bill in the House even as the Morcha lawmakers chanted slogans. Speaker Onsari Gharti postponed the parliament business till Sunday, without entering into amendment proposal, as per the agreement in the Business Advisory Committee (BAC) meeting held earlier on the day. In the meeting attended by senior leaders of various political parties and the chief whips, Gharti had asked everyone to support in resuming the House business which was turned down by the Morcha and NC leaders. 

On December 16, the government with the consent of the NC had tabled the amendment bill along with the bill on National Reconstruction Authority despite serious reservation from the Morcha. The reconstruction bill was endorsed unopposed the following day, but there has been no discussion on the amendment bill as the NC is reluctant to push it forward without the consent of the agitating parties. 

During the BAC meeting, the NC asked to postpone deliberation for a few more days saying that the negotiation with the Morcha was heading towards the “positive” direction. The government and NC have been holding parallel talks with the disgruntled parties which are against the amendment bill. “There has been a significant progress in negotiations so far. We should bring Morcha on board before endorsing the amendment bill,” said NC Chief Whip Chin Kaji Shrestha. However, the ruling CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) were in favour of starting the process on Wednesday; they insist that the dialogue and deliberation on the bill should go together. The Parliament meeting called on Friday has also been postponed by five days at the request of the NC. Shrestha, however, said that the major parties had agreed to start deliberation on the amendment bill on Sunday irrespective of a deal with the Morcha. 

On October 8, the previous government under Sushil Koirala had registered the bill in Parliament, seeking amendment to Articles 42, 84 and 286 of the Constitution for  ensuring inclusive proportional  representation of the marginalised communities in state bodies and delineation of electoral constituencies based on the population, with at least one electoral constituency in each district.

However, the protesting parties have been demanding that delineation of electoral constituencies should be based solely on the population. In the meeting, the parties have also agreed to sort out the dispute before the next Parliament meeting.

Govt asked to furnish details on Janakpur incident

KATHMANDU: Speaker Onsari Garti has directed the government to inform Parliament about the unruly treatment of President Bidhya Devi Bhandari during her visit to Janaki Temple in Janakpur on December 16.

Gharti made the ruling following the objection from cross party leaders over the insult meted out to the head of state by the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha supporters during her visit to the shrine on the day of Bibaha Panchami. The cadres of the agitating regional parties reportedly purified the temple, claiming that her entry into the temple was inauspicious because she is a widow. 

Nepali Congress lawmaker Ramhari Khatiwada, UML’s Sushil Nepal, Sita Nepali of UCPN (Maoist), Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal’s Rajya Laxmi Shrestha, among others, demanded a stringent action against the guilty. (PR)

Published: 24-12-2015 09:11

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