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


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…

[Research & Analysis]Nepal-China border Management and the future of people to people relations

Uddhab Pyakurel Assistant Professor in School of Arts, Kathmandu University, Nepal/ Academic Advisory Committee of CSSAME
The issue of Nepal-China border management has been in forefront once again along with the blockade experienced by Nepalis in Nepal-India border in 2015 just after Nepal promulgated its new constitution. In fact, the Indian blockade further proved that Nepal is not only a landlocked but also practically an India locked country. It was partly because the role performed by Nepal’s northern border-Tibetan Autonomous Region of China. If one could see Chinese role to help Nepal to overcome crisis, it could do almost insignificant help to Nepal. And it was not that China was unable to assist Nepalis but it did not do much. The major reason behind the insufficient support was a long-practiced Chinese interest that is not to invite further complication by opening the Tibetan border. In an Interview [1], the author argued that Nepal-China relations started facing a crisis si…

One FPTP seat, 3pc PR votes necessary to become nat'l party

The sub-committee under the parliamentary State Affairs Committee has reached to a consensus on bill regarding the political parties on Wednesday. As per the provision, for any political party to be recognized as a national party they must secure at least one seat under first-past-the-post (FPTP) and three percent proportional vote. Committee member Ram Krishna Yadav informed that a meeting of the sub-committee held at Singha Durbar this morning forged a consensus despite objections from fringe parties. Nepal Workers Pheasants Party leader Prem Suwal, CPN-ML leader Aindrasindar Nembang among other leaders from fringe parties objected to the provision of securing three percent threshold on PR and one FPTP seat. Ekantipur 22/03/2017