Thapa hints at backing proposal

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jul 10, 2017-The Parliamentary Party of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party failed to decide on Sunday whether to support the constitution amendment proposal even as Chairman Kamal Thapa hinted at supporting the ruling parties’ move to get the amendments endorsed.

The Pushpa Kamal Dahal government’s bid to pass the proposal from Parliament had failed on April 30 when nine RPP lawmakers including Biraj Bista, Resham Lama, Ram Kumar Subba, Laxmi Thapa Paswan, Gita Singh and Babina Lawoti refused to vote for the bill differing over the language and citizenship provisions of the revised document.

Thapa shared at the meeting that people often questioned him, after the incident, whether the party remained united. “Everyone asks me if the RPP is intact. That humiliates me,” a lawmaker quoted Thapa as saying. Lawmaker Bista said the RPP would have no differences this time.

Thapa told the meeting that he would call another session if the government decided to press ahead with the amendment proposal, hinting that his party would have to support it. The party has been offered four ministerial berths in exchange for votes for the revised amendment proposal. But the party’s talks team of Kunti Shahi, Jayanta Chand and Dilnath Giri has demanded a deputy prime minister’s portfolio for the RPP to join the Congress-Maoist coalition.

According to lawmaker Saroj Sharma, another meeting of the party would decide its position on the amendments.

In a meeting with two RPP leaders—Thapa and Pashupati Shumsher Rana—in Baluwatar on Saturday, Prime Minister Deuba and Maoist Chairman Dahal had sought the RPP’s commitment to voting for the amendments.

Meanwhile, Deuba and Dahal agreed on Sunday to consult with the parties before moving forward the constitution amendment process “within this week”. 

NC leader Balkrishna Khand, who attended the meeting in Baluwatar, said the two coalition partners were for holding consultations with other parties once again before forwarding the amendment proposal. Maoist Centre Spokesperson Pampha Bhusal said the governing parties would continue with their efforts to garner the necessary votes but the bill would be pushed even if its endorsement was not guaranteed.

Published: 10-07-2017 07:58

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