A few tweaks to report is what Morcha seeks

  • local level restructuring
  • Calls for adding 100 units in Tarai to make recommendations acceptable
- Binod Ghimire, Kathmandu
Govt taskforce to hold discussions with lawmakers from Province 2 for three days starting today

Feb 12, 2017-The Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, which has objected to the Local Level Restructuring Committee (LLRC) report, has hinted that it could accept it if 100 local units, give or take, are added in the Tarai region.

Of the 719 local units recommended by the LLRC in its report for the federal set-up, 34 percent, or 236 local units, fall in the Tarai region, which the Morcha constituents have objected to, saying the number is too less. 

Following Morcha’s stance against the LLRC report, implementation of which is a must to hold local level elections that the government is planning for the third week of May, the government had decided to consult with lawmakers from the Province 2.

Earlier, the Madhes-based parties and locals of eight districts of Province 2 had barred technical committees of the LLRC from carrying out their works. The LLRC had then prepared its report without consulting agitating parties. 

The Morcha has long been demanding that representation of the Tarai-Madhes should be based on population and that the number of local units along the plains should be increased at least to 45 percent, if not 50 percent.

“The current LLRC report has undermined the population size of the Madhes. This can be corrected by increasing the number of local units in the region while keeping the number intact in Hill and mountain areas,” Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party General Secretary Sarbendra Nath Shukla told the Post. 

The total number of local units will shoot up to 820 if the number of local units is increased in the Tarai region as demanded by the Madhes-based parties. 

It must be noted that a section of Nepali Congress leaders too had earlier demanded that there should be at least 1,000 local units across the country so as to ensure easy service delivery to the general public. The government, which is under pressure to announce dates for locals elections, on February 2 decided to form a three-member taskforce under Minister for Federal Affairs and Local Development Hitraj Panday to explore the possibility of revising the LLRC report. 

 The Panday-led taskforce will start consultation with cross-party lawmakers from the Tarai region for three days starting Sunday. Shukla said the Morcha has informed the taskforce that the report would be acceptable to it if the number of local units is increased and “the restructuring error is rectified”. He also alleged that the LLRC had worked at the behest of some leaders and split VDC clusters while recommending village councils. “A VDC from one cluster has been split and annexed into another village council to safeguard votes of some leaders (parties). This has to be corrected,” he added. 

The government taskforce plans to hold discussions with parliamentarians from Saptari district on Sunday evening. Meetings with lawmakers from Siraha, Dhanusha and Mahottari districts will be held on Monday. Talks with lawmakers from Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara and Parsa on Tuesday. Shukla said all lawmakers from the Madhes-based parties will “actively participate”.

Published: 12-02-2017 08:13

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