Proposed name for State 7 sparks protest

- CHITRANGA THAPA, MOHAN BUDHAIR, DHANGADHI

Sep 27, 2018-

The parliamentary committee’s proposal to designate Godawari in Kailali as capital of Province 7 has sparked protests in the region, with local people of Dhangadhi, the temporary provincial capital, taking to the streets.

Lawmakers also raised questions over the proposal to shift the capital at a provincial assembly meeting on Wednesday.

The inhabitants of Dhangadhi Sub-metropolitan City, Kailali, staged demonstrations in protest of the proposal of shifting the provincial capital from Dhangadhi to Teghari in Godawari Municipality-4. Mayor Nripa Bahadur Bada and Nepali Congress (NC) activists mainly constituted the demonstrations.  

A five-member parliamentary committee led by Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Chief Whip Tara Lama Tamang had submitted its report on Tuesday, proposing ‘Sudurpashchim’ as the name of Province 7 and Godawari its capital.

The protesters burnt tyres and chanted slogans against Chief Minister Trilochan Bhatta and the ruling NCP. They warned of continued protests unless the committee withdraws its proposal of shifting the capital.

The agitators claimed that the proposal to shift the capital just a few kilometres from Dhangadhi was a political whim. “It’s been done at the behest of then NCP leader Lekhraj Bhatta. We will not accept this at any cost. Protest will be intensified if our demand is not addressed,” said Padam Raj Bhatta, a protester.

Leader Bhatta’s election constituency and house is situated at Attariya in Godawari Municipality. The protesters also charged some leaders of trying to move the Capital to Godawari in collusion with land brokers and timber

smugglers.

NC registers proposal not to shift capital

The main opposition NC on Wednesday registered a proposal at the secretariat of Provincial Assembly, demanding not to move the capital from Dhangadhi.

In the proposal tabled by lawmaker Dilliraj Panta and seconded by Nanda Bam, the NC has demanded to name the province as ‘Sudurpashchim’ and make Dhangadhi its permanent capital. Similarly, the ruling NCP registered another proposal to name the province ‘Sudurpashchim’ and designate Godawari as its capital.

Earlier, Speaker Arjun Bahadur Thapa presented the proposal submitted by Tamang in the assembly meeting for voting. Twenty-three lawmakers expressed their views in the parliamentary discussion.  

“Even the total provincial budget of two years will not be enough to construct required infrastructure in Godawari. The proposal to shift capital into forest area also violates Nepal’s commitment to preserve forest at the national and international levels,” said NC Parliamentary Party Leader Ran Bahadur Rawal. The proposed seat for the provincial capital lies in a bush area about 20km from Dhangadhi.

As per the constitutional provision, the provincial assembly has the authority to name and designate the provincial capital by a two-thirds majority. The NCP has the required numerical strength in the assembly. Only Province 4 and Province 6 have named permanent capital so far.

Published: 27-09-2018 07:29

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