Cong MPs unhappy with LLRC’s meet in Capital

  • Say commission must go to districts of Province 2 to get public opinion
- SARIN GHIMIRE, Kathmandu

Dec 10, 2016-

More than two dozen lawmakers from the Nepali Congress have expressed their reservations on the Local Level Restructuring Commission (LLRC)’s move to collect suggestions and opinions over restructuring of Province 2 in the Capital instead of the respective districts.

In a four-point statement issued on Friday, lawmakers from Udayapur, Saptari, Bara, Mahottari, Morang, Dhanusha, Sarlahi, Chitwan, Siraha, Parsa and Rupandehi urged the commission to pay heed to suggestions regarding local restructuring from the local communities, leaders and civil society members from the respective districts.

The commission on Wednesday and Thursday held talks with lawmakers of eight districts—Rautahat, Mahottari, Siraha, Saptari, Bara, Sarlahi and Dhanusha—and advised them to find a midpoint within the next two days on number of local units to be carved in these districts of Province 2. 

Lawmakers from the NC, CPN-UML, CPN (Maoist Center) and Rastriya Prajatantra Party participated in the two-day discussion. Lawmakers from the Madhes-based parties refused to attend the meeting. 

However, NC lawmakers have criticised the commission’s move to seek opinions on local restructuring in Kathmandu rather than going to the districts. 

NC lawmaker Min Bahadur Bishwakarma suggested that the LBRC take additional time in gathering public opinion since it is a sensitive matter. 

“The situation in these districts is not as volatile as before, so it would be better for them to visit the respective districts to collect public opinion and understand the sentiments. That will give them a different perspective on the whole local body restructuring work,” said Bishwakarma.

With plans to submit its report to the government by mid-December, the LLRC had decided to seek suggestions from lawmakers from the respective districts by organising a meeting in the Capital after attempts to collect suggestions in the districts went in vain. 

Madhes-based parties in particular have refused to cooperate with the LLRC’s technical committees. 

Madhesi leaders maintain that they will participate in the restructuring commission’s works only after the dispute over federal delineation is settled. They also want the local units to be put under the jurisdiction of the state.

“The commission will have to take into confidence the people in the districts before deciding on the number of local units. It will also look like they have at least taken suggestions from the people there, a procedure that is in the terms of reference of the restructuring commission,” said Bishwakarma.

The Madhesi forces have threatened to not participate in both the commission’s work as well as local elections until a constitution amendment is made to have two Madhes provinces across the Tarai. 

Local development officers, also the chiefs of the technical committees formed by the restructuring commission of all eight districts, were present in the meeting held in Kathmandu with the lawmakers of the eight districts. 

Published: 10-12-2016 07:39

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