Constitution amendment bill draws criticism from different quarters; UDFM rejects the bill; bill challenged at court

nepal-constitutionKathmandu / Nov 30: The main opposition party in parliament, CPN (UML), has decided to disrupt the meeting of the Legislature-Parliament on Thursday, in protest against the constitution amendment proposal brought by the government.

The CPN (UML) parliamentary party meeting held at the Parliament House in Naya Baneshwar decided to resist the constitution amendment proposal in the parliament as well as from the streets citing the proposal would divide the nation and bring complications in the constitution implementation, the Chief Whip of the party Bhanu Bhakta Dhakal said.

The meeting also instructed all the lawmakers from the party to be mandatorily present in the parliament 15 minutes before the start of the parliament meeting. The UML parliamentary party meeting was chaired by deputy leader of the party Subas Chandra Nemwang as the PP leader and party chairman KP Oli could not attend the meeting due to ill health.

Similarly, CPN (ML) has expressed its protest against the constitution amendment bill registered by the government on Tuesday.

Issuing a press release on Wednesday, CPN (ML) General Secretary, CP Mainali, protested against the constitution amendment bill, saying discriminating between provinces in the name of representation on the basis of population in Upper House, making second regional province only of Tarai and Madhes after disintegrating the hilly districts of Province No 5 and making ‘Hindi language’ as official language in Nepal are only the purpose of the bill.

The press release states, “‘the constitution amendment bill is against the people and the nation. The government should immediately withdraw it and should work instead for implementation of the new constitution promulgated through Constituent Assembly with absolute majority. The party demands consensus and forming a high-level political committee to institutionalize the consensus in the constitution.”

NWPP protests registration of amendment proposal

Likewise, Nepal Workers and Peasants Party (NWPP) has protested the registration of the constitution amendment proposal and urged all political parties to stand against it.

The party central secretariat meeting held under the chairmanship of party chairman Narayan Man Bijukchhe noted that some issues that are mentioned in the proposal like use of national language, the redrawing of provincial boundaries, citizenship and representation in the National Assembly—are against the interests of Nepal and Nepali people.

“Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal registered the proposal at the direction of India. The party believes that the registration of the proposal at this point of time suggests a conspiracy being hatched in an attempt to foil the plan to hold all three levels of elections—local, provincial and parliament,” the statement read. The meeting also condemned the registration of the proposal.

Constitution amendment bill will not be passed: Chair KC

Chairman of the Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal, Chitra Bahadur KC, has said that the constitution was going to be amended at behest of India.

At a programme organised by Sambad Club Nepal here on Wednesday, Chairman KC said attempt were being made to turn Nepal into Sikkim by isolating hilly areas from Tarai.

Also former Deputy Prime Minister, KC expressed the view that federalism was like ‘cancer’ for the country. He also claimed that the constitution amendment bill registered by the government would not pass.

Constitution amendment bill not acceptable to it: UDMF

In another development, the United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) has said that the constitution amendment bill registered by the government was not acceptable.

A meeting held under the chairmanship of Chairman of the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party, Mahantha Thakur, on Wednesday drew the conclusion that the bill registered without consensus of the Madhesi Morcha failed to address the demands of Madhesi, indigenous nationalities and marginalized community.

The meeting drew the conclusion that the bill registered by the government in the status quo could not be acceptable.

Talking to media persons after the meeting, Chairman of the Federal Socialist Forum, Upendra Yadav, said that the bill has failed to address their demands. He said that the next meeting of Morcha would prepare further strategy.

Constitution amendment challenged at court

Meanwhile, a writ petition has been filed at the Supreme Court (SC) challenging the registration of the bill on amendment to the constitution.

Advocate Tikadhwoj Khadka moved the apex court demanding repeal of the bill without any delay claiming that the move was against the letter and spirit of the Constitution of Nepal.

Naming the Prime Minister, Nepal government and Legislature-Parliament, among others, as defendants, the writ has recommended that the Nepal government could constitute a federal commission to seek recommendations on the boundary of provinces in the constitution and settle the disputes accordingly. “I demand that the government’s anti-constitutional move to change the boundary of the provinces — the backbone of federalism — by seizing the constitutionally bestowed right to the people and the legislature-parliament to take decision to that end”, states the writ.

The writ has demanded interim order immediately staying the constitution amendment process till the finalization of the petition.

Protest against registration of constitution amendment bill

Likewise, the Youth Association Nepal and ANNFSU, affiliated to the main opposition CPN-UML on Wednesday staged demonstrations in protest against the constitution amendment bill registered by the government.

They argued that the amendment was not necessary at the moment, and that it would disintegrate the nation instead. Demanding withdrawal of the amendment bill, the demonstrators blocked roads and chanted slogans in and around Baneswar.

Addressing a corner meet organised on the occasion, President of Youth Association Rajiv Pahari said the government had registered the bill at the behest of the foreign forces, and demanded its withdrawal.

Likewise, ANNFSU Chair Nabina Lama appealed to all nationalist forces to become one against the bill. The agitation would continue until unless the bill was withdrawn, she said.

In course of the demonstrations, the agitators vandalized a government vehicle (Ba. 1 Jha. 8113). The demonstrators also burnt tires blocking the road, Deputy Superintendent of Police Narayan Prasad Chimoriya said. The entire traffic of the valley had been affected as a result of the late afternoon demonstration. RSS

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