Nepal Madhesi Front refuses to back Constitution amendment bill

The bill, registered at the Parliament Secretariat after the Council of Ministers passed its draft on Tuesday, proposes to address three other key issues -citizenship, representation and recognition of languages

By: PTI | Kathmandu | Published:December 1, 2016 12:32 pm
madhesi parties, nepal constitution, nepal constitution amendment, nepal madhesi, nepal madhesi party, world news, nepal news The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) and the Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal (FSF-N) stated that they cannot accept the Constitution amendment bill. (File)

Nepal’s Madhesi Front has refused to back the Constitution amendment bill, saying it was not acceptable in its current discriminatory form, in a blow to Prime Minister Prachanda’s efforts to achieve reconciliation with groups agitating over the new statute.

The United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) and the Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal (FSF-N) stated that they cannot accept the Constitution amendment bill which has been registered in Parliament by Nepal’s government despite opposition from CPN-UML.

“We cannot accept the Constitution amendment bill, which was unilaterally registered in the Parliament by the government because the bill does not address the issues raised by Madhesis, Janajatis and deprived communities,” the UDMF said in a statement yesterday.

The statement was jointly issued by UDMF leaders, including Federal Socialist Forum-Nepal Chair Upendra Yadav, Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Chair Mahantha Thakur and Tarai Madhes Sadbhawana Party-Nepal Chair Mahendra Prasad Yadav.

“The three major parties want to continue to discriminate against Janajatis, Madhesis and other deprived communities,” said FSF-N Chair Yadav.

He stated that the UDMF was primarily concerned about the struggle and would think about elections only in future.

Yadav, earlier issued a statement, saying that the government committed a blunder by registering a Constitution amendment bill that did not address the demands of indigenous nationalities, Tharus, Khas, Muslims, women, Dalits and Madhesi movement.

Yadav said the provincial autonomy and 10-province model were still being treated as disputed issues and the concerns over five Tarai districts Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur were yet to be addressed.

He argued that the Constitution amendment bill had made no mention of proportional representation on the basis of the population of ethnic groups and recognition of national identity.

“The Federal Alliance has been demanding representation based on population. If the Constitution is amended as per the bill’s proposal, Madhesis would never be in majority in the Upper House,” Yadav said.

Other issues of concern cited by him were recognition of all mother tongues and the issue naturalised citizenship.

The agitating forces demand that women who acquire naturalised citizenship on the basis of matrimony should be treated as citizens by descent but the bill implied that these women would never hold top Constitutional posts.

Federal Alliance is a grouping of Madhesi parties and ethnic groups that have been demanding more rights and representation for the marginalised people.

The bill, registered at the Parliament Secretariat after the Council of Ministers passed its draft on Tuesday, proposes to address three other key issues — citizenship, representation in the Upper House and recognition of languages spoken in various parts of the country.

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  1. R
    Robbins Khattri
    Dec 2, 2016 at 3:55 am
    First of all it is like People of Indian origin staying there for around 150-180 years and with their potion less than the Nepali potion. Second most of them still have Indian citizenship (who knows) all thanks to open border (sarcasm), no one will know who holds which citizenship until and unless you check their status (legally). Third they wants their own state (well that's alright) but why a very BIG STATE?? It's like "hey I am in USA for now 180 years and I do not have legal papers and rights to stay here but I want my separate state" well Trump wont agree to that.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;ORlt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;"Hi Indian government, we are from Darjeeling and we are here since very long time as we were part of Nepal until Britishers took us into India, we want GORND - a separate state" but even Indian government still have not agreed to that yet after so many protest.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;And India wants Nepal to make a consution that should be inclusive, well why not do it India for Gornd first. (Some should see their part before commenting on others).lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;And about Hill protest in Nepal "Nepalese people are protesting now because previously government were not agreeing to Madhesi's (People of Indian origin) demand but now all of sudden an "amendment" so why the hilly people would agree their place to be merge with new Madhesi's state?
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