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Will UML agree to amended constitution?

By Our Reporter
cpn-uml-party-officeWith the state visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, pressure has increased on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal and NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba to register a proposal of constitution amendment in the parliament.
Mukherjee, who has maintained good relations with the Nepalese leaders while serving as Union Finance Minister in the capacity of powerful Congress leader, might have exerted pressure on Dahal, Deuba and other leaders to move the constitution amendment process at the earliest.
During the en masse meeting, the leaders of the Madhes-based parties complained to the Indian President that the government was not honest to respond to their demand of constitution amendment. They also urged Mukherjee to heed the Madhesi interests. He even asked PM Dahal to amend the constitution so that all sectors could feel ownership of the statue.
Prior, during and after Mukherjee’s visit, PM Dahal and CPN-UML chair KP Oli held several rounds of meeting focusing the issue of constitution amendment. However, the UML looks adamant on its stance that the constitution should not be amended to meet the interest of particular foreign force. Most senior leaders of UML have been expressing their views against the amendment.
Senior vice president Bam Dev Gautam and general secretary Ishwor Pokhrel said at different places that UML would not be ready to amend the constitution unless its rational was clarified. Senior leader Madhav Kumar Nepal termed the demand of constitution amendment as unnecessary interference of India in Nepal’s internal matter.
Vice-Chairman of the CPN (UML) Bhim Rawal said in Kailali it was essential to furnish clarification why the constitution was being amended.
At a tea reception and greetings exchange programme organised by the CPN (UML) District Committee, Kailali, on the occasion of different festivals on Sunday, Rawal said that the ruling parties should give clear answer why constitution amendment had been essential.
Likewise, General Secretary Pokharel argued that India was hatching conspiracy against the implementation of constitution in Nepal.
Pokharel said so while inaugurating the people’s mobilization campaign of the party in Khotang on Sunday. “India had not wanted promulgation of new constitution in Nepal and is not happy after its promulgation,” he added.
Pokhrel blamed India for playing role to break unity among the political parties in Nepal in recent times. All should be alert and stand together against such machination, he cautioned.
He said awarding posts in the constitutional bodies to naturalized citizen was not acceptable to Nepali people at any cost.
Moreover, the rumour that the ruling parties were ready to amend a provision to allow any foreigner who has obtained ‘naturalised citizenship’ to become President or prime minister in ten years has strengthened anti-amendment public voice and the UML is likely to respect the public sentiment by not being ready to amend the statute.
It is believed that some force has floated a non-paper of constitution amendment to understand the public views. But the non-paper is likely to be counterproductive for the ruling parties and the Madhesi forces as voice against the amendment is getting stronger.
The social sites like facebook have been full of comments urging the UML to foil the amendment bill. Even within the ruling parties, many influential leaders are against the amendment process. As such, UML is unlikely to be ready to agree to amend the statute.

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