Present govt will not fix temporary province capitals: Minister Bishwokarma

province capitals


KATHMANDU, Jan 6: Minister for Commerce Min Bishwokarma has clarified that the incumbent government will not fix temporary province capitals.

Protests have flared across the country with locals demanding their home towns be declared the province capitals after the government prepared the outline of temporary capitals of all seven provinces.

Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba on Thursday had called all-party meeting seeking consensus over finalizing province capitals, appointing governors and fixing National Assembly Election date. But, the largest party CPN-UML stayed aloof on these matters while urging Deuba to complete necessary procedures constitutionally and pave way for new government formation. Later on Friday, Deuba summoning an emergency cabinet meeting announced February 7 as the day for upper house election. The government is expected to take decision on remaining two issues.

But Minister Bishwokarma, at an interaction program organized by the Reporters’ Club Nepal on Saturday, said, “Other political parties tried to escape from this duty stating that fixing temporary province capitals was none of their concern. Nepali Congress alone will not bear the potential tension that could arise after announcing province capitals.”

“People have started protest in various parts of the country demanding their home towns be declared province capitals. In such situation, it will not be appropriate for the government to fix capitals,” he argued.

“Constitution has provisioned that the Province Assembly will declare the province capitals. Thus, the present government will not fix province capitals,” he clarified.

Minister Bishwokarma however made it clear that the next cabinet meeting will appoint province chiefs.

He also made it clear that the new government will not be formed before mid-February.

“We want to hand over the government soon. But before the Election Commission issues the certificates of House of Representatives, how can we quit government,” he said.

“After all the constitutional procedures are completed we will transfer the power,” he added.