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Constitution amendment becomes knottier

By Our Reporter
The government has registered the constitution amendment bill in the Parliament on Tuesday night. PM Pushpakamal Dahal said that after he got assurance from the Tarai centric parties that they would go for elections if the constitution is amended. Therefore, Dahal said that the government had registered the amendment proposal.
Whether Dahal and NC president Sher Bahadur Deuba will be able to manage the two-thirds majority without UML’s support to amend the constitution, it has not yet been confirmed.
Political polarization has reached a new height with the preparations being made to amend the constitution to meet the demands of the Madhes-based parties.  Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, who became Prime Minister in the present coalition government of the CPN-Maoist Centre and Nepali Congress in the backing of the Madhes-based in August has been unable to register the amendment proposal even in four months after he assumed the high office.
Although the government was said to register the constitution amendment proposal in the Legislature Parliament on Sunday, Prime Minister Dahal all of a sudden postponed the plan owing to strong opposition from the CPN-UML.
Moreover, the surprise alliance forged between Naya Shakti of Dr Baburam Bhattarai and  Madhesi Janadhikar Forum Nepal of Upendra Yadav is likely to sabotage the constitution amendment proposal. The two parties issued a joint statement Monday morning demanding amendment to several provisions of the constitution, which cannot be met in the present context.
Above all, the proposal included in the amendment bill to change the demarcation of the province No 5 has invited strong opposition not only from the UML leaders but also from the leaders of the two ruling parties. CPN-Maoist Centre leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi and almost all lawmakers of the ruling Nepali Congress have strongly opposed the proposal. Because of the strong opposition from the party leaders representing the province No 5, Nepali Congress Monday decided to tell Prime Minister Dahal to postpone the registration of the amendment proposal.
Sources said the NC leaders suggested party president Sher Bahadur Deuba not to register the amendment proposal if it cannot be endorsed by the Legislature Parliament.
Even the language used in the joint statement issued by Dr Bhattarai and Yadav hinted that Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum would not accept the amendment proposal. When endorsing the proposal without support from the main opposition CPN-UML looks almost impossible, non-cooperation from the lawmakers of the ruling parties is sure to fail the bill. As such, Prime Minister Dahal has to step down on moral ground and he is not ready to put his post at risk.
It is also likely that the CPN-UML can even prevent the registering of the bill in the parliament, and if the bill is registered, UML will launch protests both from the streets and House. As such, the ruling parties will not be able to bear the pressure of the protests because supporters of NC and the Maoist Centre will also back such movement as people think that the constitution is being amended as per the Indian design.
If the government registers the amendment proposal and if it is also opposed by the Madhes-based parties stating the proposal being incomplete, the country is sure to plunge into another round of crisis. The Jannajatis  and nationalities have already opposed the amendment proposal  stating it has failed address their demands . Similarly, the Madhes-based parties are preparing to launch another round of agitation in the plains if the amendment proposal is not registered. Hence political crisis looks  inevitable.

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