Govt in bid to endorse amendment proposal without UML’s support

contemporary issues

KATHMANDU, July 8: The government is starting discussion with the agitating Rastriya Janata Party Nepal (RJPN) and other parties in a bid to endorse the constitution amendment proposal currently stalled at the legislature-parliament.

After RJPN threatened the government to boycott the September 18 polls if their concerns are not addressed including the amendment of the constitution, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba called RJPN leaders at his resident at Baluwatar for holding talks.

RJPN leaders have demanded  endorsement of the  amendment bill, increase in the number of local units in the southern plains, withdrawal of  cases filed against their party cadres, and compensation for those injured during the Madhes movement. But the main opposition CPN-UML has refused the proposal claiming it to have brought going against the national interest.

PM Deuba, CPN (Maoist Center) Chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ and other leaders of the ruling alliance during the meeting had assured the RJPN to endorse the under-discussion amendment bill.

“We can garner two-third majority in support of the tabled amendment bill without any support from the main opposition party CPN-UML,” claimed leader of the Nepali Congress party Sashank Koirala while talking to the Reporters Club Nepal. “We have 398 votes in favor of the amendment,’ he added.

PM Dahal and Prachanda are also holding talks with Rastriya Prajatantra Party on Saturday afternoon. The ruling parties’ leaders have been claiming that two-thirds majority can be garnered in favor of the bill if the RJPN votes for it.

The bill has been stalled at the parliament after the government failed to garner two-thirds majority in its favor following non-cooperation from the opposition parties. However, PM Deuba has assured that the amendment bill would be endorsed immediately after June 28 polls. The bill was registered at the parliament by the then Prime Minister Dahal on April 11.

Also during the meeting, the ruling parties discussed about the cabinet expansion. According to sources, the government is preparing to hand over 4 ministries to RPP, 3 to Nepal Loktantrik, 3 to Federal socialist Forum, 1 to CPN (United), 4 to other lawmakers from small parties. The responsibility of the remaining 15 ministries will be given to the leaders of the ruling alliance.