Khanal challenges govt to muster two-thirds majority
Senior CPN-UML leader Jhala Nath Khanal has challenged the government to get the constitution amendment bill endorsed by a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
“The amendment proposal registered in Parliament by the ruling parties excluding the UML is anti-national and unconstitutional,” Khanal told a gathering of party cadres in Birendranagar of Province 6 on Friday.
Khanal, a former prime minister, said his party would never support the bill as its contents were objectionable. He criticised the proposal to split the province as an “ill motive to gradually separate the Tarai from the Hills before declaring a separate state”.
“The residents of Tarai don’t want to be detached from the Hills. Only a handful of leaders from the Madhesi parties are trying to establish the entire Tarai as one province,” said Khanal. “It’s high time the people kept strict vigilance.”
Khanal accused Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal of creating a conflict between the people of the Tarai and the Hills, who have lived together peacefully for centuries.
Amendment bill should be revised, says Thakur
Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party Chairman Mahantha Thakur has insisted on revising the constitution amendment bill in order to make it acceptable to the regional parties. The government should give the Madhesi Morcha enough reason to support the proposal, Thakur said at the Reporter’s Club on Friday. He reiterated the Madhes-based parties’ call for managing the five disputed districts—Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur—as recommended by the erstwhile State Restructuring Commission.
“We need amendments as per our demand. As provisioned by the Interim Constitution, provinces and autonomous regions should be given full rights,” said the Madhesi leader, adding that the amendment bill does not address that concern. Expressing his displeasure at the contents of the amendment bill, Thakur said none of the regional parties’ concerns over formation of the Upper House, language and provincial delineation was addressed.
He ruled that Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal never revealed the contents of the bill during his meeting with them. Thakur warned of protests from the House and the streets if attempts were made to pass the amendment proposal in its present form. Particularly blaming the main opposition CPN-UML, he accused the major parties of reacting irresponsibly to the problems facing the country.
Protests on in districts
Youths affiliated to the CPN-UML sister wings protested against the constitution amendment bill in Banke and Bardiya on Friday. They chanted slogans against the government and Prime Minister Puspha Kamal Dahal. In Bardiya, students affiliated to the UML-aligned ANNFSU halted traffic in Rajapur area for two hours.
In Kaski, supporters of the UML, Rastriya Janamorcha and the CPN (ML) demonstrated jointly against the proposal to split Province 5. In Gulmi, protests have been going on since Wednesday. The indefinite strike called against the amendment bill was relaxed in Arghakhanchi, Gulmi, Palpa, Kapilvastu and Rupandehi districts after leaders and cadres from several parties staged a mass meet in Butwal.
The Kathmandu Post
Conspiracies being hatched to turn Tarai into Jaffna island thru constitution amendment: UML
The main opposition party CPN-UML has concluded that conspiracies are being hatched to push the country into a perpetual imbroglio and instability through the constitution amendment bill.
Issuing a 15-ponint statement on Friday, UML secretary Yogesh Bhattarai said, “Conspiracies are being hatched to make the Tarai belt Jaffna Island of Sri Lanka through the amendment to the constitution. This is highly detrimental to the country.”Thousands had been killed in the Jaffna island of Sri Lanka due to the Indian infiltration into the island since 1983.
Bhattarai warned that the Tarai is heading in the direction of Jaffna conflict. Even though the present political juncture calls for three major political parties to sand united for the implementation of the constitution, the ‘foreign element’ is hell-bent on creating division among them.