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House rejects constitution amendment bill

By Our Reporter
Almost nine months after the registration of the controversial bill on constitution amendment by the Pushpa Kamal Dahal-led government the uncertainty of the controversial bill ended on Monday when a full meeting of the Legislature Parliament rejected to endorse it.
The Dahal-led government which came into power with the support of the Indian establishment and in the backing of Nepali Congress president Sher Bahadur Deuba had registered the bill to please his Indian masters as well the agitating Madhesi leaders. But the bill sparked demonstrations lasting for weeks in province-5 as separating hill districts of the province from Terai was one of the points inserted in the amendment bill. The mass demonstrations, which were also supported by NC and Maoist Centre leaders, discouraged the government from putting the bill for voting for months.
Dahal failed to table the bill for voting as there was no chance of garnering a two-thirds majority in the parliament as the CPN-UML had been opposing the bill strongly. In June, he once tried to table the bill for voting but later he abandoned his attempt when he came to know that 10 RPP lawmakers and a few NC lawmakers had gone missing a day before the bill was to table.
The present government led by PM Deuba dared to table the bill after the leaders of the Rastriya Janata Party-Nepal agreed to accept the results of voting. Only 347 lawmakers voted for the bill which was short of 48 votes of a two-thirds majority in the 592-member Legislature Parliament.
As many as 347 lawmakers voted in favour of the Bill while 206 lawmakers voted against it. The opposition parities including CPN-UML and Rastriya Prajatantra Party voted against the Bill.
“The second constitution amendment Bill has been rejected as it could not garner two thirds majority of votes out of 592 lawmakers present in the parliament,” announced Speaker Onsari Gharti from the parliament.
In total of 553 lawmakers were present in the voting.
Two thirds majority of the lawmakers in the parliament is required to endorse the Bill. Before the voting, 51 lawmakers had expressed their views on the proposed Bill and 50 amendment proposals were registered. But all the amendments were rejected.
In the 592-member House, at least 395 votes were required to endorse the amendment bill.
With the failure of the bill, chances of constitution amendment have become slim before the terms of the present parliament expires. The rejection of the bill has come as a pleasant surprise for the people as well as the nationalist forces.

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