Morcha courts Madhesi MPs from oppn bench

  • constitution amendment
- Post Report, Kathmandu
Ram Janam Chaudhary: This bill doesn’t solve the problem. There should be a lasting solution instead of amending the constitution time and again

Jan 10, 2017-Leaders of the Madhes-based parties have started courting small forces and Madhesi leaders from the opposition bench seeking their support to constitution amendment.

While some Madhesi leaders are trying to take the Rastriya Prajatantra Party and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Loktantrik into confidence, some others are in talks with Madhesi leaders of the main opposition CPN-UML, seeking their favour to pass the amendment.

The government tabled the constitution amendment bill in Parliament on Sunday amid the protest of the opposition parties. 

The government plans to put the bill to a vote before announcing the election date, according to Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s chief political advisor Chakrapani Khanal.

Despite Sunday’s breakthrough, it remains to be seen whether the government will be able to endorse the bill. 

The UML, along with some fringe parties, stands against the bill, creating difficulties for the government to garner 396 votes in the 594-strong Parliament. A few leaders from the governing CPN (Maoist Centre) and the Nepali Congress have also stood against the bill.

Leaders of the Madhes-based parties said they are separately reaching out to Madhesi leaders of the second largest party UML and fringe parties to garner their support to the bill.

“There are many Madhesi and Tharu leaders in the UML who are supportive of the bill. We are asking them to mount pressure on their leadership to back the bill,” said a senior Morcha leader in negotiation with Madhesi parliamentarians from the UML.

Morcha leaders are in parallel talks with the Kamal Thapa-led RPP, the Bijaya Gachhadar-headed MJF-L and Tharu and independent lawmakers.

Both the RPP and the MJF-L have refused to lend support to the amendment bill so far.

MJF-L General Secretary Ram Janam Chaudhary confirmed that his party was in talks with potential backers of the bill. He said that MJF-L, the largest regional party representing Tharu and Madhesi constituencies, is working to get the major parties to revise the boundaries in a way that addresses the concerns of all the communities.

“Our reading is that this bill doesn’t solve the problem. We should find a lasting solution instead of amending the constitution time and again,” said Chaudhary.

Published: 10-01-2017 07:30

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