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Saturday, Nov 16, 2019

Prachanda in a fix, fails to amend constitution, announce polls

The Madhesi Morcha plans to hold fresh protests in Nepal’s Terai region to pressure the government to amend the Constitution before polls to local bodies are held.

world Updated: Jan 30, 2017 22:56 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Kathmandu
Nepal' Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” waves towards the media after he was elected in Kathmandu on August 3, 2016.
Nepal' Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” waves towards the media after he was elected in Kathmandu on August 3, 2016. (Reuters)

The Madhesi Morcha said on Monday it will organise protests in Nepal’s southern Terai region next week to pressure the government of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” to amend the Constitution before holding polls to local bodies.

The increasingly impatient Madhesi Morcha said protests will be organised in district headquarters on February 5. Madhesi parties are also demanding the implementation of a three-point agreement signed on August 3, the day Prachanda took over as premier with the backing of the Morcha.

A nearly two-hour-long meeting between Prachanda, the Nepali Congress and the Madhesi Morcha on Monday did not result in a breakthrough, and Madhesi leaders flatly rejected the idea of holding elections before their demands are met.

During the meeting, Prachanda proposed the constitutional amendments and the elections should be taken up simultaneously. But Madhesi leaders said there could not be any forward movement till the statute is amended.

The parties agreed to hold another meeting aimed at forging consensus on the two contentious issues.

The Madhesis, who are mostly of Indian origin, had protested against the promulgation of the new Constitution for almost six months in 2015, when 59 people were killed and scores injured.

Prachanda has so far failed to deliver on his promise to the Madhesi Morcha about announcing polls to local government bodies and amending the Constitution.

Though he has been in power for almost six months, Prachanda has been unable to amend the statute to address the demands of Madhes-based parties related to demarcation of federal boundaries, language, citizenship and making the Constitution more broad based.

Announcing elections to the local bodies is a constitutionally mandated task but the agitating Madhes-based parties have said they will not allow polls to be held before the Constitution is amended.

CPN-Maoist Centre leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha said efforts would be made to finalise the two issues after holding consultations among the parties by Wednesday. .