Nepal to table bill to meet Madhesis’ demands in Parliament tomorrow

Madhesis, mostly Indian-origin, launched a six-month-long agitation from September last year to February this year in which more than 50 people were killed.

By: PTI | Kathmandu | Published: December 18, 2016 6:46 pm
Nepal, Nepal crisis, Nepal constitution, Nepal PM Prachanda, Nepal constitution amendment bill, Nepal Madhesis, Madhesi crisis, Nepal news, Kathmandu news, Nepal-India, Indian Express, world news Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ (Source: File/Reuters)

Nepal Prime Minister Prachanda on Sunday said the Constitution amendment bill, aimed at meeting the demands of agitating Madhesis and other ethnic groups, will be tabled in the Parliament Monday as he urged the opposition parties not to obstruct the house. Passing the registered bill was a matter of the Parliament, hence, “nobody should obstruct the Parliament by displaying an undemocratic character”, he told reporters at the Biratnagar Airport, The Himalayan Times reported.

Prachanda, also the CPN Maoist Centre Chairman, said that if Nepal’s main opposition party CPN-UML ended the obstruction in Parliament, the present deadlock would end. He suspected that there was a big conspiracy to make the Constitution a failure behind the main opposition’s protest, the report said.

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Prachanda said the government would table the Constitution amendment bill in Parliament tomorrow. It was registered at the Parliament Secretariat on November 29. He also made it clear that the government wanted to forge an agreement with the main opposition regarding the issues of the bill — aimed at carving out a new province to meet the demands of agitating Madhesis and other ethnic groups.

The registration of the bill has angered Nepal’s main opposition party CPN-UML which has termed the bill as “anti-national” and obstructed the parliament in the past. They said that the resource-rich Province Number five, which earlier constituted hilly and mountainous districts rich in natural resources and cultural heritage, should not be split as envisaged in the bill.

The amendment bill aims to accommodate the demands of the agitating Madhesi and ethnic groups that include citizenship and boundary demarcation issues among others. Re-demarcation of the provincial boundary and citizenship issue are the two major demands put forth by the agitating Madhesis.

Madhesis, mostly Indian-origin, launched a six-month-long agitation from September last year to February this year in which more than 50 people were killed. The agitation had also crippled the landlocked country’s economy as supplies from India were blocked.

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