Charter revision becomes a hot potato for PM

  • Rules out amendment before polls
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu

Mar 3, 2017-After realising that the constitution amendment issue has become a hot potato, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal appears set to leave the agitating regional forces, who are seeking an amendment to the statute, out in the cold.

 A day after the partners in the ruling coalition expressed their inability to support the constitution amendment bill that is in Parliament, PM Dahal told a delegation of the Nepal Federation of Indigenous Nationalities (Nefin) on Thursday that the process to amend the constitution will be taken forward “only later”, in an indication that his government has completely dropped the idea of revising the charter before local level elections set for May 14. 

Two days ago in his address to the nation on Tuesday PM Dahal had made an earnest appeal to the agitating forces to take part in elections, saying holding polls is need of the hour, and called on all to take their concerns to the ballot box. 

Agitating regional forces have taken serious exception to PM Dahal’s move of declaring local level elections without amending the constitution, something which he had pledged before coming to power with their support.  

The delegation of Nefin, the umbrella organisation of indigenous nationalities, on Thursday called on PM Dahal at Baluwatar to urge him to make efforts to get the constitution amendment bill endorsed, saying “only this move can ensure the rights of indigenous nationalities”.

“During yesterday’s meeting of partners of ruling coalition and the Madhes-based parties, the Rastriya Prajatantra Party expressed its inability to support the constitution amendment bill,” PM Dahal told the Nefin delegation, according to an indigenous leader. “Therefore it will not be possible to get the amendment bill endorsed.”

“Pushing for a proposal that is sure to fail will only complicate the issues. So it will be wise to take a decision on the matter ‘after some time’,” PM Dahal is learnt to have told the Nefin team.

Reminding the Nefin delegation of an eight-point reservation his party had registered at the time of promulgation of the constitution, PM Dahal said that failing to implement the constitution could reverse the achievements and put the country backwards, which could lead to revival of the 1990 constitution. 

“Shall we expect such a situation? If not, we have to move ahead safeguarding whatever is with us,” he said.

Published: 03-03-2017 08:08

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