A Nepalese activist with his mouth covered gathers with others from the Federal Alliance (members of the Madhesi and ethnic communities) to voice their anti-constitution concerns on the first anniversary of Nepal's constitution in Kathmandu on September 19.(AFP File)
A Nepalese activist with his mouth covered gathers with others from the Federal Alliance (members of the Madhesi and ethnic communities) to voice their anti-constitution concerns on the first anniversary of Nepal's constitution in Kathmandu on September 19.(AFP File)

Madhesi group rejects Nepal statute proposals, protests held in several places

A day after Nepal government tabled a Bill related to the constitution amendment in order to address the demands and grievances of Madhesh-based political parties, a key alliance of agitating Madeshi Morcha on Wednesday rejected the government’s proposal.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
UPDATED ON NOV 30, 2016 04:02 PM IST

A prominent group of Madhesis on Wednesday rejected Nepal government’s proposal to amend the constitution, which was partially aimed at addressing the demands of the agitating group.

Parts of the country saw protests and strikes on Wednesday against some proposals, which was tabled on Parliament by the government on Tuesday.

Upendra Yadav, a Madhesi leader and chairman of the Sanghiya Samajbadi Forum (Federal Socialist Alliance) rejected the proposed  bill, saying the government made a serious mistake while registering the proposal in parliament without consulting them.

The government tabled the amendment in parliament after the cabinet endorsed the four-point proposal to address the row over federal boundaries, citizenship, language, and inclusive representation of marginalised communities in state entities such as upper house of parliament based on population ratio.

But Yadav said the proposal does not hold any relevancy without consensus and approval from Madhesis.

Support from Madesh-based parties is crucial for the government to implement the constitution and hold elections at local,  provincial and central levels by another 15 months.

A meeting of United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) where Yadav is a member, has been called on Wednesday to make their position clear.

If his party does not support the proposal, chances of securing a two-third majority votes  to approve the bill will be minimal.

Yadav said the demands put forward by Madeshi Morcha and the forum were not addressed in the proposal. “Our demand is to federate Nepal in 10 provinces where government has not prescribed about any kind of remedies over settling the row over federal boundaries,” he said in a statement.

The proposal is also not clear about language, he added.

Issues like provincial autonomy, ensuring representation of various ethnic communities in state entities have not been made.

“If  representation is not made on the basis of population ratio,  Madhesis  in  Nepal...will not get majority Upper House,” he said claiming that such proposal will further escalate tension in the country, instigate conflict among the  communities.

“We will continue our protest and agitation and will give continuity until our demands are met,” he added.

The main opposition CPN-UML has already opposed and rejected the proposal and there is sharp division and discontent over the proposal within the ruling alliance, Nepali Congress and CPN( Maoist Centre).

People from Province 5 have taken to the streets since early Wednesday protesting against splitting the province and swapping some districts in Provinces numbers 4 and 5.

In order to woo the Madhesh-based parties, the government has decided to create two provinces in Nepal’s southern plain. With this new proposal, southern plains will have two provinces - 2 and 6 - exclusively dominated by Madeshi population.   

Six districts of Lumbini Zone of Nepal are tense as hundreds of people have taken to the streets. These rallies in the districts are supported by CPN-UML and even ruling NC and Maoist party cardres.

Defying the party’s decision and instructions, some ruling party members have taken street and formed alliance against the spilt of province no 5.

Vehicular movements in these six districts are either totally halted or affected, markets have been closed as top leaders of ruling and opposition alliance also joined in the movement.

 

 

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