Kathmandu, Aug. 10: President of the Constitutional-Political Dialogue and Consensus Committee (CPDCC) Dr Baburam Bhattarai has submitted a report with amendments based on the people's submissions on the preliminary draft of the 'Constitution of Nepal 2072 BS'.
Referring to the emergence of counter-revolution in the past in absence of unity among the forces waging struggle for change, President Dr Bhattarai said that Nepali people had wished to materialize their dream of promulgating a new constitution with the setup of republic following abolition of feudal monarchy in the country.
He called on the pro-change forces to engage in the campaign of promulgating the constitution from the Constituent Assembly (CA) not being affected from what he called the gesture and posture of so-called nationalists who are opting for disrupting the constitution making process.
He said that the CPDCC had put its maximum efforts to make the constitution progressive to the greater extend being based on 861 types of recommendations received from 177,000 people on the constitutional draft.
"The report has been prepared with maximum flexibility and commitment to deliver a new constitution as there is the risk of infringement of rights achieved while seeking more rights".
The submission of report to the CA was possible with the consensus among top leaders of four major political parties on the proposal regarding boundary of federal setups after two weeks long discussion.
The Special Committee comprising top leaders of four major parties formed to forge consensus on the unsettled issues of the constitutional draft on Saturday had come up with agreement on federalism with six provinces. The CA meeting which was summoned at 1.00pm could only take place at 8.00 pm after a prolonged discussion on the agreement in the CPDCC.
Lawmakers slam the report as excluding people's suggestion
Before the report was produced, the lawmakers of Madhesi parties and Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal among others picketed the rostrum chanting slogans and tore apart the agreement draft.
CA Chairperson Subas Nembang warned them not to act in such a manner calling it against regulation.
The lawmakers at the start of the session before the presentation of the report took time to accuse the senior leaders of neglecting the sentiments of the people and bringing the modified draft on basis of agreement among themselves.
After the CA Chairperson Nembang allocated the lawmakers time to speak, they took turns to put forth their views and demanded insurance of right with identity of all sector and classes.
Nepali Congress's Surendra Prasad Chaudhary said the state restructuring must be held by keeping the country's sovereignty as a top priority and pointed out that the proposal was vindictive towards the people of Terai and Madhesi.
UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Ganeshman Pun said the final draft of the constitution had failed to respect the indigenous nationalities, Madhesi people, Muslims and the Dalit communities. Umesh Kumar Yadav of the same party argued that the modified draft of the constitution did not address the armed conflict, democratic uprising and the Madhesi uprising. Another lawmaker of the same party, Mahendra Bahadur Shahi said the constitution must be drafted by suitably addressing the grievances of the Karnali region which has remained in the back burner for the long period.
Similarly, another UCPN (Maoist) lawmaker Gauri Shanker Chaudhary expressed concern that Kailali and Kanchanpur were excluded from the Tharuwan area in the proposed draft of federal state structure.
Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (Democratic) lawmaker Janakraj Joshi said the agreement reached among the leaders had agitated the Tharu people and warned it would push the country headlong into conflict and even ambush federalism itself.
Lawmakers Hridayaram Thani, Bishwendra Paswan, Shivalal Thapa, Dr Dimple Kumar Jha and Minal Kumar Chantyal spoke vehemently against the agreement.
Terai Madhesi Loktantri Party leader Sarvendranath Shukla alleged that the report was regressive in nature rather than being in tow with the past agreements and the preliminary draft.
RPPN Chair issues warning
Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal Chairman Kamal Thapa said serious suspicions had emerged after demonstration of selfishness and willful acts in course of developing the report of the agreement.
Thapa hauled allegations that the senior leaders could not even fulfill a simple procedure of holding consultation and meeting with all the stakeholders and that the agreement was reached during midnight. He protested the failure of the leaders to address the people's suggestion for reinstating Hinduism as state religion.
"There had been a commitment to use an appropriate word instead of religious secularism, but what kind of compulsion did arrive due to which they failed to address it," Thapa questioned. "The parliament must be briefed on this," he demanded.
The next CA meeting which will take place at 9 am on August 11, will hold deliberation over the report. RSS