Amendment must for resolving Tarai crisis, say Madhesi leaders

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 16, 2017-Madhesi leaders have said that the constitution amendment bill should be revised further and amended if major parties want a meaningful resolution to the Madhes crisis. The leaders claim that the amendment bill in its present form will not end the row over the state restructuring—the bone of contention. 

“We cannot support the bill if it’s not revised. A meaningful amendment is needed to address concerns of Madhesi, Janajati and Dalit communities,” said Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal Chairman Upendra Yadav, claiming that the bill tabled at Parliament only seeks to please foreign powers. 

Though most of the Madhes-based parties have agreed to support the bill, Yadav has been consistently stressing the need of constitution amendment. But senior government officials brush off Yadav’s rhetoric against the amendment bill just as a pressure tactic. They believe Yadav would eventually support and vote in favour of the bill. 

Despite pledging support to the amendment bill, the Madhes-based parties have warned of a continued protest for alignment of Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur districts with the provinces in the southern plains. The bill proposes carving a province on the southern belt from Nawalparasi to Bardiya but is silent on the three districts in the eastern region and two in the western region. 

“The five districts should be aligned with Madhes province sooner or later. We will continue to fight until that happens,” said Sadbhawana Party Chairman Rajendra Mahato. Mahato, however, said that the regional parties are ready to put the five districts off table until the proposed changes are institutionalised through constitution amendment.  

Madhesi leaders appear apprehensive about the bill due to growing opposition from the UML-led opposition bench and a certain section of the ruling CPN (Maoist Centre) and Nepali Congress. 

Published: 16-01-2017 09:39

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