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Constitution amendment proposal in dilemma

By Our Reporter
The UML standing committee meeting held on Sunday concluded with the decision that there is no need of amendment, rather, there is the need for implementation of the constitution. It is thus sure that UML is not going to support the efforts of the NC and Maoist Center (MC) to amend the constitution thus the constitution is going to face a crisis. Without two-thirds majority in the parliament, the constitution cannot be amended.
However, PM Dahal has planned to register the constitution amendment bill in the parliament thinking on other options also for amendment of the constitution. From the unification process of the two RPPs – RPP Nepal and RPP — held on Monday, 21 November, Dahal has become optimistic. After merger of the two parties, RPP has stood as the fourth largest party with the strength of 37 MPs. RPPN, which was in the opposition bench earlier, will sit in the ruling party bench after its merger. Therefore, if registered, the constitution amendment bill, Dahal hopes, RPP, which is in the government with two seats, will also vote for amendment of the constitution.
Besides RPP votes, Dahal has also hoped for bagging support from the Madheshi Front – 48 votes, Bijaya Gachhadar – 14 votes and the rest from some small parties. In this way, without UML vote also, the constitution can be amended.
However, there are some reservations expressed by the Madheshi parties and also newly merged RPP. The Madheshi parties are saying that they are not going to accept the present modality of the NC and UML. Likewise, RPP’s agenda will be the Hindu nation. Without including Hindu nation in the amendment bill, RPP is unlikely to support the NC-MC proposal to amend the constitution.
According to the NC-MC plan, it has been decided to keep as-it-is the five disputed districts – Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari and Kailali and Kanchanpur. NC and MC have planned to separate hill districts from Nawalparasi to Bardiya. Accordingly, on the citizenship issue, the provision stated in the interim constitution will be adopted in the new constitution. On the issue of Hindi language, this language will also be included in the list of national language and to finalize the national language, a language commission will be constituted. On the issue of rights to the naturalized citizens, such citizens will not be eligible for holding key posts. On the issue of national assembly, making minimum three to five compulsory representatives from each provinces and rest of the members will be represented on the basis of population.

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