Oppn parties take to the streets

- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
We won’t let the House endorse the charter amendment bill that is against national interestKP Sharma Oli

Jan 7, 2017-Nine opposition parties led by the CPN-UML on Friday took to the streets, literally, as they took out a rally and organised a mass meeting in the middle of the road in the Capital to protest against the government move of registering a constitution amendment bill, which they say is against national interest and endangers national integrity and nationalism.

Thousands of activists of the opposition parties started descending on Kathmandu streets from different parts since morning before gathering at the Exhibition Road to hear their leaders, who criticised the governing parties and the Madhes-based forces for making a pitch for constitution amendment with a plan to redraw provincial boundaries. 

Addressing the mass meeting, KP Sharma Oli, chairman of the main opposition UML, said the opposition parties will stop the amendment bill from getting endorsed in Parliament.

The government on November 29 registered the constitution amendment bill at the Parliament Secretariat at the insistence of the agitating Madhesi and Janajati forces which have been protesting against the constitution. 

The opposition parties’ mass meeting in the Capital in a show of strength on Friday comes amid an understanding between the governing parties—CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress—and the agitating Madhes-based parties to table the constitution amendment bill in Parliament on Sunday. 

“The UML will not tolerate any compromise on issues of national unity and national interest,” said Oli. “We will expand our campaign [against the constitution amendment] to other parts of the country as well. We will not remain silent when it comes to national unity and national interest.”

Accusing the government of focusing only on prolonging its tenure instead of ensuring elections, Oli said the UML was serious about the looming constitutional crisis in the country. 

“If the government fails to hold three levels of elections by January 2018, we will meet with a constitutional crisis. We are serious about this,” he said. 

Lashing out at the Madhes-based parties, the former prime minister said, “They managed to secure only 11 seats in the Madhes region while the UML alone obtained 40 seats.” 

“You cannot fool the people of Tarai,” he said, warning the Madhes-based parties. 

“The forces that had tried to obstruct promulgation of the new constitution now are saying they will not let elections happen without amendment,” said the UML chairman, hitting out at the Madhes-based parties. 

Published: 07-01-2017 07:45

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