We want actions, not words: Morcha leaders

  • bid to break deadlock
  • PM Dahal seeks two days to find political consensus on his proposal
- TIKA R PRADHAN, Kathmandu
PM Dahal is running out of time to convince the Morcha, and the EC has demanded that environment be created by Sunday for fixing polling centres in Province 2

Apr 1, 2017-Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Friday sought two more days to seek consensus on his proposal to address the concerns of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM).

During a meeting with top leaders of the Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, at Baluwatar, PM Dahal reiterated his earlier proposal that his government would move the constitution amendment bill forward to address all other issues except those relating to boundaries. 

Earlier on March 23, hours before he flew to China, PM Dahal had put forth the same proposal before the Morcha in the presence of CPN-UML leaders. 

The Morcha, which has withdrawn its support to PM Dahal’s government to protest his move of declaring local level elections without the constitution amendment, has announced protests and warned of disrupting election slated for May 14.

With only 43 days to go for the polls, PM Dahal is running out of time to convince the Morcha to participate in the polls. On top of that, there is pressure from the Election Commission as well. The EC on Thursday only had called on PM Dahal to help create an environment within three days—by Sunday—for fixing polling centres in six of the eight districts of Province 2, saying that “or else work on voters’ list and their IDs could be affected”.  

Morcha leaders on Friday once against refused to budge from their stance and called on PM Dahal to prove his promise by actions. 

“The government has been making tall claims for long and doing nothing,” Upendra Yadav, chairman of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, told the Post when asked about Friday’s meeting. “We want actions, not words from the prime minister,” said Yadav. 

PM Dahal has proposed that the government would table a supplementary amendment proposal and address three issues of the constitution amendment bill—on language, citizenship and representation in national assembly—for now and that the issues related to boundaries would be addressed through a federal commission later. 

According to the PM’s private secretariat, the prime minister has proposed that a federal commission would be formed to finalise the provincial boundaries before the provincial and federal elections are held, local units in the Madhes region would be increased on the basis of population and other demands of the Morcha would be addressed through political consensus. While seeking two days to find political consensus, PM Dahal told Morcha that the government would fast-track the constitution amendment process if the latter agreed to his proposal. 

CPN (Maoist Centre) Spokeswoman Pampha Bhusal said Friday’s meeting could not reach any deal due to the absence of Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba and Rastriya Prajantantra Party Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.  According to Bhusal, the prime minister himself has taken the charge of finding consensus among 

parties, including the main opposition UML. 

On the possibility of a breakthrough in two days, a Madhesi leader, however, told the Post: “Chances are slim.”

According to sources, PM Dahal will try his best to convince the Morcha, but if the efforts fail, he and major parties will go ahead with polls even if voting cannot be held in Province 2.

Deputy Prime Ministers Krishna Bahadur Mahara and Bimalendra Nidhi; NC leaders Ram Chandra Poudel, Krishna Sitaula and Prakash Man Singh. Maoist Centre leaders Barshaman Pun, Matrika Yadav, Chakrapani Khanal and Pampha Bhusal; RPP leader and Minister Dipak Bohara and Morcha leaders Upendra Yadav, Mahantha Thakur, Anil Jha, Sharat Singh Bhandari, Rajendra Mahato and Rajendra Shrestha among others were present at Friday’s meeting. 

Published: 01-04-2017 08:01

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