Make seven changes to your Constitution: India tells Nepal

These “amendments” have been conveyed to Nepal’s leadership by the Indian government through official channels Ranjit Rae, India’s ambassador to Nepal.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Updated: September 24, 2015 8:08 am
nepal, nepal constitution, nepal news, nepal new constitution, india nepal, india nepal ties, world news, india news, asia news, nepal constitution news Members of the United Madheshies of Nepal protest outside the Nepal embassy in New Delhi, Tuesday. (Source: PTI)

Upset over Nepal’s newly promulgated Constitution, New Delhi wants Kathmandu to carry out “seven amendments” to ensure it is acceptable to the Madhesis and Janjatis, South Block sources told The Indian Express Tuesday. These amendments are at the heart of the protests and violence in Nepal which have left at least 40 dead.

Read: We cannot bow down before pressure or persuasion: Prachanda

These “amendments” have been conveyed to Nepal’s leadership by the Indian government through official channels — Ranjit Rae, India’s ambassador to Nepal, is in New Delhi for consultations — after South Block reviewed the new Constitution.

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The proposed amendments are:

* Article 63 (3) of the Interim Constitution provided electoral constituencies based on population, geography and special characteristics, “and in the case of Madhes on the basis of percentage of population”. Under this provision, Madhes, with more than 50 per cent of the population, got 50 per cent of seats in Parliament. The latter phrase has been omitted in Article 84 of the new Constitution. “It needs to be re-inserted so that Madhes continues to have electoral constituencies in proportion to its population,” a government source told The Indian Express.

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* In Article 21 of the Interim Constitution, it was mentioned that various groups would have “the right to participate in state structures on the basis of principles of proportional inclusion”. In the new Constitution (Article 42), the word “proportional” has been dropped — Delhi wants it re-inserted.

* Article 283 of the Constitution states that only citizens by descent will be entitled to hold the posts of President, Vice-President, Prime Minister, Chief Justice, Speaker of Parliament, Chairperson of National Assembly, Head of Province, Chief Minister, Speaker of Provincial Assembly and Chief of Security Bodies. This clause is seen as discriminatory for the large number of Madhesis who have acquired citizenship by birth or naturalisation. Delhi says this should be amended to include citizenship by birth or naturalisation.

* Article 86 of the new Constitution states that National Assembly will comprise 8 members from each of 7 States and 3 nominated members. Madhesi parties want representation in National Assembly to be based on population of the Provinces. This, Delhi says, should be done to address concerns.

* Five disputed districts of Kanchanpur, Kailali, Sunsari, Jhapa and Morang: Based on the majority of the population, these districts or parts of them may be included in the neighbouring Madhes Provinces.

* Article 154 of the Interim Constitution provided for delineation of electoral constituencies every 10 years. This has been increased to 20 years in Article 281 of the new Constitution. Echoing the Madhesi parties, India wants this restored to 10 years.

* Article 11(6) states that a foreign woman married to a Nepali citizen may acquire naturalised citizenship of Nepal as provided for in a federal law. Madhesi parties want acquisition of naturalised citizenship to be automatic on application. This also finds favour with Delhi.

Sources said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up counterpart Sushil Koirala on August 25. He appealed to the government, all political parties and the people of Nepal to eschew violence and maintain social harmony.

“During the August 25 phone call, the PM told Koirala that the political leadership of Nepal should resolve all outstanding issues through dialogue with all political parties and through the process of widest possible consultation, including with the public… to strengthen the climate of trust and confidence across and between all sections of society, and arrive at solutions that reflect the will and accommodate the aspirations of all citizens of a richly diverse society within a united, peaceful, stable and prosperous Nepal,” an official said, quoting from a statement of the Ministry of External Affairs.

In the last one month, New Delhi repeatedly asked Kathmandu — this included sending Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar as the PM’s envoy — to accommodate concerns being expressed by Madhesis and Tharus but that did not happen.

Former Indian ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad told The Indian Express Tuesday: “The situation seems quite difficult in Nepal. The triumvirate of the political parties should realise the enormity of the mistake committed by them. They, simply, will have to address the concerns of Madhesis and Janjatis.”

Editor’s note: 

MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup has reacted to the report:The article is incorrect. Government of India has not handed over any list of specific Constitutional amendments or changes to the Government of Nepal. Without being prescriptive on specific clauses, and as already stated earlier, we continue to urge that issues on which there are differences should be resolved through dialogue in an atmosphere free from violence, and institutionalised in a manner that would enable broad-based ownership and acceptance.”

The reporter replies: The Indian Express has confirmed from its sources that these amendments/changes were communicated by New Delhi to Kathmandu. It stands by the report.

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  1. A
    abhi sharma
    Nov 18, 2016 at 4:38 pm
    ेपाल-टुक्राउने-ग्रान्ड-प्लान-जन्नुहोस-193105027813399/
    Reply
    1. R
      Ram Reddy
      Sep 23, 2015 at 7:38 pm
      We want CHINA to out of the NEPAL TEAM MODI is working very well but this mess is the result of CONGRESS LOOTERS never ever worried about country they only busy in looting it is our BAD LUCK to have such FAMILY LOOTERS headed our country and looted NO worries TEAM MODI will make INDIA fine and shine Proud to be TEAM BJP supporter
      Reply
      1. B
        Backoffbigbro
        Sep 23, 2015 at 5:19 pm
        Nepal is not Bihar. Shame on u India. Delhi can't even TELL its own states what to do. Why Nepal.
        Reply
        1. B
          Blank
          Sep 23, 2015 at 4:02 pm
          Dear no matter where we got our consution from.. we still made and have a new consution made by the people and for the people. Don't act like india's consution is not similar to other countries consution. India consution was made by putting U.S consution or U.K consution in the table. I don't understand why india has to butt in. It's not their land or their country. We are a nation and we can fix our problem by ourself. We lived through cold bloody civil war with in our people and solved the freaking problem by ourselves so as a country we can try to fix this problem too. If india has problems with it and if they are scared that nepalese might attack india then.. they can shut the border.. that's it.
          Reply
          1. H
            ha ha
            Sep 23, 2015 at 8:27 am
            I didn't know Nepal was part of the Indian federal setup. Oh, wait, it isn't, so #BacktheFoffModifiedIndia
            Reply
            1. L
              Laxmi Gurung
              Sep 23, 2015 at 1:26 pm
              Oh really then why r u interfering backoff india
              Reply
              1. L
                Laxmi Gurung
                Sep 23, 2015 at 12:48 pm
                Why u India interfere in our country consution? What rights do u have? Did USA or China interfere us regarding this consution? If all over the world have no objections then why ur country has problem? Actually India is jealous of us coz we r going to show the w world that we Nepali r best so stop it they r creating obstacles... Wake up n smell the coffee India as its 2015... We have our own choices n our own rights... If u r jealous then u too change ur consution instead of questioning our consution... Don't interfere in our country issues...
                Reply
                1. G
                  Getlost
                  Sep 23, 2015 at 4:47 pm
                  Who is India to tell them this. Nepal is a sovereign nation. Bjp upset it is no more a Hindu nation.
                  Reply
                  1. K
                    khan
                    Sep 23, 2015 at 7:40 am
                    Stop interfering in neighbours affairs correct few at home
                    Reply
                    1. K
                      Kshitiz thapa
                      Sep 23, 2015 at 12:26 pm
                      It's not the issues of the 50% of the potion residing on the madesh. It's an illegitimate issue of the 5% of the traitors residing in madesh in the name of madeshi.
                      Reply
                      1. U
                        UK Taman
                        Sep 23, 2015 at 2:16 pm
                        Nepal is a independent country and no one can dare to break that. Only Nepali people have the right to say what need to be included in the Nepali consution not Indian goverment. If you are not invited you should not go to other people's party. W world knows this.
                        Reply
                        1. U
                          UK Taman
                          Sep 23, 2015 at 2:51 pm
                          If you feel so strongly why don't you tell Indian government to mind their business. It is not for India to say what Nepal can do or can't do. This is unnecessary and unlawful interference from Indian goverment, you should know that.
                          Reply
                          1. R
                            Rajan
                            Sep 23, 2015 at 9:37 pm
                            NEpal is not your subcontinent... don't step into others toe... WE ARE INDEPENDENT...
                            Reply
                            1. R
                              Ritendra
                              Sep 23, 2015 at 7:58 am
                              Well done India go on...we medhesi with u... #support_us_india
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Sa roj
                                Sep 23, 2015 at 5:42 pm
                                बिदेशी मूलकी सोनिया गान्धी प्रधानमन्त्री बनिन् भने मुण्डन गर्ने प्रतिज्ञा गरेकी थिइन यिनले । नेपालमा चाहिँ ......
                                Reply
                                1. R
                                  Rekha joshi
                                  Sep 23, 2015 at 4:19 pm
                                  Dear nepalis brother/sister helping others not meant that putting them into debt.
                                  Reply
                                  1. R
                                    Rekha joshi
                                    Sep 23, 2015 at 3:43 pm
                                    Difficult situation:Consution of any country should be made by representing all the sections of society.We appeal to Triumvirate political parties of Nepal realise their Enormity of mistakes in the new consutionDIA
                                    Reply
                                    1. R
                                      Rekha joshi
                                      Sep 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm
                                      There r no flaws our difficult situation we surely take help from u but this not meant that we r under debt.sir
                                      Reply
                                      1. R
                                        Rekha joshi
                                        Sep 23, 2015 at 4:37 pm
                                        We r not intervene in ur decision ur triumvirate political parties asked our country how to bolster our new consution.
                                        Reply
                                        1. D
                                          D
                                          Sep 23, 2015 at 5:44 am
                                          No way . This is now i understsnd that it is too much interference by india. Untill now i thought india was only advising as a good neighbour. But now this is clear.
                                          Reply
                                          1. K
                                            kopila
                                            Sep 23, 2015 at 11:35 am
                                            Not really. just because you give money doesn't give you right to interfere. We did not rub you, you gave us with your will. Find the Difference # backoffindia
                                            Reply
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