Morcha lends conditional support to amendment

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Dec 19, 2016-

Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, has agreed to back the proposed constitution amendment but clarified that the regional parties would continue their protests unless the five disputed districts are realigned with the plains provinces. The districts of contention include Jhapa, Morang and Sunsari of Province 1 and Kanchanpur and Kailali of Province 7.

Morcha leaders insist that the three districts in the East or their parts should be integrated into the Madhes province although the governing CPN (Maoist Centre) and Nepali Congress appear reluctant to so do.

Though the Morcha leadership was pressing the major parties to give disputed status to the five districts, it did not happen. In the amendment bill, the government has proposed to split Province 5, which has 13 districts.

Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Vice-chairman Hridayesh Tripathi said the Morcha was “more or less” satisfied with the changes made in three other provisions pertaining to citizenship, language and representation in the Upper House.

“There is no doubt that the provision pertaining to federal boundaries has partly addressed our concerns. But it will not completely resolve the dispute. So we think it would be better to make some revisions in the provision related to the boundaries before passing the bill,” said Tripathi. Despite hints by a majority of the Madhesi parties at supporting the bill, it remains unclear whether the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal will support the move. Talking to the Post earlier this week, SSFN Chairman Upendra Yadav had refused to accept the bill without further revision. The ruling coalition has clarified that the government has registered what it could do in the existing political equation.

In a meeting of the NC and the Maoist Centre with leaders of the Madhesi Morcha on Saturday, coalition leaders had clarified their limitations, said Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s chief political advisor Chakrapani Khanal.

PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal had opted to split Province 5 despite serious disatisfaction within the Maoist party and NC President Sher Bahadur Deuba had accepted it despite some Congress member warning not to realign the five districts.

 

Will fight for 5 districts till end: Mahato

KATHMANDU: Renewing the call for incorporating five districts--Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur--into Madhes provinces, Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato on Sunday threatened to fight for these districts till the end.

“We will do whatever it takes to incorporate those districts into the Madhes province,” he said during an interaction at Reporter’s Club. “We are firm on establishing two provinces in the Tarai from Jhapa to Kanchanpur.”

Offering a solution to the dispute over the demarcation of the provinces, he said “either we have to agree on the report of the State Restructuring Commission or constitute a new demarcation commission with a clear mandate that the disputed districts should be part of Madhes provinces. “We will not give up on our agenda until and unless these five districts are incorporated in Madhes provinces.” Mahato also came down heavily against the main opposition CPN-UML’s decision to obstruct the House. (PR)

Published: 19-12-2016 07:44

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