Madhes parties decide to support Constitution Amendment Bill

Kathmandu [Nepal]: Softening their stance on the Constitution Amendment Bill, the Madhes-based parties have decided to support the same in Parliament if the government revises it to address their concerns, especially on the provision pertaining to federal boundaries.

The decision comes as a notable shift in regional parties’ approach, as they had earlier refused to take ownership of the bill despite the fact that it was introduced at their insistence while stating that the proposal addressed none of their demands, reports the Kathmandu Post.

A meeting of the Madhes-based parties affiliated to the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha (SLMM) on Saturday concluded that the amendment bill has more or less addressed their concerns on three issues-citizenship, representation in the Upper House and working language of provinces.

In a press statement issued after the meeting, the Morcha has said it is ready to assist the government to endorse the proposal if it agrees to revise it further.

The Morcha has categorically expressed dissatisfaction with the government for not mentioning the five so-called disputed districts-Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Kailali and Kanchanpur-in the bill.

Some Morcha leaders said that they would continue to press the government to revise the provision related to boundaries, but hinted at supporting the bill even if their bid fails.

“The draft amendment has more or less addressed our concerns regarding language, representation in the Upper House and citizenship. The draft is also one step ahead on issues of the boundaries, but it doesn’t completely address our concerns. But I solution is not that far, as we are not demanding much,” said Tarai Madhes Loktantrik Party vice-chairman Hridayesh Tripathi.

Despite Morcha’s change in stance, it remains unclear whether all the agitating parties will support the amendment bill. (ANI)