Skip to main content

SLMM drops a hint that it’ll support bill



  • Constitution amendment
  • A senior TMLP leader maintains ‘something is better than nothing’
  • SSF-N reiterates earlier stance, saying it does not address demands


With the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) blowing hot and cold, the government still seems to be in a sort of fix over the constitution amendment bill it has registered at the Parliament Secretariat.

The government on November 29 registered the amendment bill at the Morcha’s insistence. But the Morcha, an alliance of seven Madhes-based parties, refused to take ownership of it, saying it does not address the concerns raised by the agitating forces. Now some of Morcha’s constituents have hinted at offering “conditional support” to get the bill endorsed in Parliament.

Morcha leaders, who have been pressing the government to revise the bill, are saying they could support it when it is put to vote. They, however, are quick to add that their protest against the bill will continue until all their demands are met. 

“It will be good if the government revises the bill before it is put to vote. But the Morcha is left with little choice even if the government refuses to oblige,” Sanghiya Sadbhawana Party Chairman Anil Jha told the Post.

Morcha’s change of heart comes hot on the heels of a meeting between their top leaders and Indian Ambassador Ranjit Rae on Saturday. According to leaders present at the meeting, the Indian envoy had advised the Morcha leaders to accept the amendment bill, as their refusal to take ownership of it would help those who are protesting against it.

The amendment bill, which has been opposed by the main opposition CPN-UML, has sparked protests in Province 5. The UML has decided to intensify protests to press the government to withdraw the bill. The Morcha leadership fears that amid its refusal to take ownership of the bill and UML’s opposition, the government might withdraw it, which could mean they will go back to square one.

“Many leaders in the Morcha believe that we should go soft on the amendment bill. It’s better to keep differences aside and support the government now. We will continue our struggle,” said a top leader of the Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party. “Something is better than nothing.” Though some leaders of the constituents of the Morcha have hinted at supporting the bill, it remains unclear whether they will vote in favour.

The Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum-Nepal, led by Upendra Yadav, has already made its position clear that it is against the bill and that it will not vote. The SSF-N has 15 seats in Parliament. SSF-N Co-chair Rajendra Shrestha said his party will not support the bill unless the government revises it and redraws federal boundaries in line with the recommendation made by the erstwhile state restructuring commission. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s close aides told the Pot that the prime minister has been separately talking to Madhesi leaders.

“Talks with Morcha leaders have been positive. But it’s too early to say whether all the parties in the alliance will vote in favour of the bill,” PM Dahal’s Chief Political Adviser Chandra Prakash Khanal told the Post. He also said that PM Dahal is also reaching out to some UML leaders to end the deadlock, but stopped short of revealing the names of these leaders.

Roshan Sedhai
Published: 07-12-2016

The Kathmandu Post

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

PM Dahal to discuss with ex-PMs, China affairs experts before China visit

As Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is preparing to pay an official visit to China on March 23, the PM is scheduled to discuss the matter with former Prime Ministers and China affairs experts beforehand. A meeting of former PMs and China affairs experts has been called at PM Dahal's official residence in Baluwatar at 9 am on Thursday in this regard, said PM Dahal's press advisor Gobinda Acharya. PM Dahal's prior discussions with former PMs and China affairs experts aims to take suggestions on bilateral and multilateral meetings. PM Dahal is scheduled to hold with Chinese officials during the visit, said PM's Secretariat. A Cabinet meeting scheduled to take place today evening will finalise issues to be taken up from Nepal side in the Boao Forum for Asia Annual Conference, Acharya informed. PM Dahal is leaving Thursday for China to take part in the annual conference of Boao Forum for Asia to be held in Boao, Hainan province from March 23-26. On the occasion, PM Dahal is…

Elections to oppose regional politics: Chair Oli

CPN (UML) chair and former Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has said that the upcoming elections will vehemently oppose and respond to the regional politics and forces involved in disharmonizing the social cohesion. Speaking in a program organized to extend thanks to the volunteers, artists and media for their presence and support shown during the party's Mechi-Mahakali Campaign (March 4-18), leader Oli said so. He added that the people will answer those forces by giving a majority seats to his party from upcoming elections.
Leader Oli further shared that the party will launch more effective programme in Province No 2 in near future. He added that the Madhesi morcha showed apolitical behaviors against UML during the campaign being intolerable due to fear of ending their illusion against the constitution and UML if UML launched effective and harmonious programs in Tarai.In another context, chair Oli shared that the attorney general suggested the election commission to touch the party s…

Amendment proposal at behest of India: Oppn MPs

Opposition lawmakers have claimed that the government registered the constitution amendment bill in Parliament at the behest of India. The opposition parties obstructed the meeting of Parliament for the third consecutive time on Sunday, demanding the withdrawal of the amendment bill, which proposes reviewing the province boundaries, the citizenship provisions and the criteria for representation in the National Assembly.
“It will be treachery if the constitution, which was promulgated with the backing of 90 percent of people's representatives, is amended on the instructions of any foreign country,” said Nepal Workers Peasants Party (NWPP) lawmaker Anuradha Thapa Magar while speaking at the House, Sunday. Lawmakers from opposition parties, including the CPN-UML, CPN (ML), NWPP, Rartriya Janamorcha and Nepa Party, stood up at their respective places and obstructed House proceedings right after Speaker Onsari Gharti announced commencement of the meeting.

As Speaker Gharti allowed the op…