Nepal PM gets 15-day “ultimatum” to table Constitution amendment bill

Kathmandu [Nepal], Nov 15 : After promising to table a Constitution amendment proposal by Tuesday, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal scrambled to cobble things up amid growing pressure from the agitating forces, which have even warned of withdrawing support to the government and launching fresh protests.

The Sanghiya Gathabandhan, an alliance of the Madhesi and Janajati forces, on Monday served a 15-day "ultimatum" to Prime Minister Dahal to table the amendment proposal, reports the Kathmandu Post.

During a meeting on Monday, Gathabandhan coordinator Upendra Yadav offered Dahal to take 15 more days.

He, however, made it clear that the amendment proposal "must be acceptable to the agitating parties". "It's meaningless to register an amendment proposal sans consensus. The proposal should be acceptable to all of us," a Morcha leader quoted Yadav as telling Dahal. Later in the day, Yadav issued a statement warning of nationwide protests "if the demands of the agitating parties are not met within the given deadline".

Gathabandhan leaders said the agitating parties offered to extend the deadline in order to give the government the required time for proper homework and consultation.

The government has not held consultation with the Madhesi leaders on the contents of the amendment. Many Madhesi leaders suspect the government could be on its way to table the proposal unilaterally. Prime Minister Dahal has so far informed Madhesi leaders that the amendment proposal would seek to address four disputed issues of the constitution pertaining to revision of federal boundaries, citizenship, representation in Upper House and working language of provinces.

But leaders of the agitating parties say they are still in dark about the details of the amendment proposal.

Some parties affiliated to the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha, which with seven Madhes-based parties under it is a constituent of the Gathabandhan, had earlier warned of fresh protests in the event of failure on the part of the government to register the amendment proposal by mid-November.

These parties started boycotting Parliament from Friday to protest the delay in registering the amendment proposal.

Source: ANI